CSUN Loses Meet but Finds a Champion

Times Staff Writer

In the week that saw the end of the reign of Cal State Northridge as the NCAA Division II men's swimming champion, the reign of Tina Schnare may have just begun.

The CSUN freshman from Manhattan Beach established another Division II record Saturday night, at the Justus Aquatic Center, winning the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:21.81.

As she had in the 100-yard breaststroke Thursday, Schnare bettered the mark of Tara McKenna, the two-time defending champion from Boston College. McKenna finished third, almost two seconds behind.

That gave Schnare, who before this week had never won a national championship in eight years of competitive swimming, at least a part of four national records in four days.

On Wednesday and Friday, she swam the breaststroke leg as CSUN's women's team established Division II records in the 200- and 400-medley relays.

It was all new to Schnare.

"I didn't expect any of this at all," said the shy 18-year-old, who really did seem to be almost overwhelmed by her success. "I just wanted to better my times."

When she did, she bettered everyone else's, too.

Her latest victory capped another big day for CSUN, which didn't win either the men's or women's team championships--Cal State Bakersfield and Clarion (Pa.) State won those--but won 11 individual events and set six of the 21 records that were established during the four-day meet.

Junior Jeff Kubiak won for the third time, successfully defending his title in the 200-yard breaststroke but failing by .20 of a second to equal the national record he set last year.

Kubiak, who reacted angrily Friday night when he failed to beat his own record in the 400-yard individual medley, did so again.

When he saw his time on the scoreboard, he threw his cap, jumped out of the pool and stormed away.

Later, he complained that his legs had given out on him. Kubiak pulled some muscles in his right thigh in December, and Accardy said that he has never fully recovered from the injury.

"I know it sounds arrogant," Kubiak said, "but I know inside of me that I have better swims than that. I'm not unhappy, I'm just disappointed."

He looked considerably happier about an hour later when it was announced that the coaches had voted him as the meet's outstanding swimmer.

In the women's 200-yard backstroke, freshman Stacy Mettam, Schnare's roommate and best friend, overcame a poor turn about halfway through the race to win her second individual title.

"My roommate and I had a good time this week," Schnare said.

Mettam won the 100-yard backstroke on Thursday, and also swam on CSUN's record-setting relay teams.

Of her botched turn in the 200, Mettam said: thought I was going to die. I went under too deep and it hurt really bad because I needed air. And then my legs just died."

She recovered to beat Karen Kimpton of Wright State by .02 of a second.

"I saw her next to me and I had to get her," Mettam said. "I just had to."

Her winning time was 2:07.54.

Accardy told her she'd owe him a dinner unless her time was less than 2:07, she said.

"But he hasn't said anything," she said. "Maybe he'll reconsider since I won."

He probably will.

He wouldn't want to upset Tina Schnare's roommate.

As expected, Bakersfield easily won the men's team title, ending CSUN's string of five consecutive championships.

Bakersfield outscored CSUN in all but three of the 16 swimming events, piling up 549 points. Northridge was second with 438 points, so the Matadors have finished first or second in the national meet for 12 straight years.

They've won nine titles in that span, but this time they didn't have the depth.

Five swimmers quit during the season, leaving Accardy with a depleted team for the nationals. Bakersfield had 16 swimmers, while CSUN had 11 swimmers and four divers.

"I "It's been a disappointing season," Accardy said, "because at the beginning of the season, with the people we had on campus, we were the best team. It's that simple."

Taking a jab at those who left, Accardy said, "Being frank about it, the kids who stopped swimming did so mostly because of the 'I' syndrome. You know, 'I want to do this,' 'I want to do that.' We try to create a team concept. And, for the most part, the reason those kids didn't swim was an I, I, I kind of thing."

The timing of the defections is what hurt the most, Accardy said.

"In the middle of the season, if they would have said, 'I'm going to finish this season and I'm not going to swim anymore after that,' that would have been fine. . . .

"I just feel bad about the way the season's gone. If everybody would have stayed, and we would have come in here and somebody outswam us, it would have been easier to take."


Furman University freshman Angel Myers, who won four events, set three Division II records and swam a leg on a winning relay team, was named the meet's outstanding woman swimmer. Furman, and Myers, move up to Division I next season. . . . CSUN diver Marion Gelhaus finished second on the three-meter board. The event was won by Clarion's Doria Mamalo, who also won on the one-meter board. . . . Clarion won the women's team title with 433 points. CSUN was third with 328. . . . Joan Wojtowicz, a freshman from Bloomsburg (Pa.) State, became a three-event winner Saturday, adding the 1650 freestyle championship to the titles she won in the 200-yard free and the 500-yard free. . . . Leading the way for Bakersfield were sophomore Bartt Frey, who won three events and set two national records, and senior Tom Roth, who won two events and set one national record. Frey and Roth also swam on Bakersfield's relay teams, all three of which set national records.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World