Vandy, McKinney Lead Oxy Swim Teams at Opening Meet

Vandy, McKinney Lead Oxy Swim Teams at Opening Meet

REDLANDS — Lianne McKinney was impressive in her first college race for the Occidental women and reigning national champion Steven van Deventer led the men as the Oxy swim teams opened their seasons at the Redlands Pentathlon on Saturday. 

THE MEET: The Redlands Pentathlon is an individual meet where each swimmer competes in the same five events (100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 100 individual medley, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke). Along with SCIAC schools, scholarship schools like Concordia Irvine, Azusa Pacific and San Diego were also competing at the meet. 

WOMEN'S RECAP: McKinney was the women's team's top performer in three of the five scored events (100 fly, 100 free and 100 IM), finishing 17th overall with a total time 5:30.14.

"It's a great way to kick off her career and it'll be exciting to see her continue to develop this season," Oxy head coach Shea Manning said. 

Madeleine Kaczmarowski had a good 100 back (1:04.30), finishing less than 1 second outside of Oxy's all-time top 10 list. Ellie O'Brien nearly accomplished the same feat in the 100 breast (1:12.39).

"Our women's team is a group of specialists, so the value in bringing them to this meet is that we're pushing them outside of their comfort zone," Manning said. "They become more capable of taking on different challenges they may face later in the season."

MEN'S RECAP: The men's team was one of three SCIAC schools to place two or more swimmers in the top ten of the individual competition. 

van Deventer, the two-time defending NCAA Division III national chamion in the 200 breaststroke, was fifth with an overall time of 4:39.08, and finished second in the 100 breast (59.67), losing out to just Jacob Lear of Concordia. 

Brandon Kim, a freshman individual medley specialist, finished 10th and showed off his versatility by stringing together five solid swims. Cody Hamane also did well in his first competition, placing 22nd (4:50.51). 

Alexander Najarian had a nice first day, finishing 16th overall (4:46.89).

"It's exciting to see both our veterans, as well as our rookies, perform well at our first competition," Manning said. "I was pleased with the way we dealt with the day's challenges and how we approached each individual race." 

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