Another championship may well be in the offing for the Cal State Northridge women’s swimming and diving team, but winning it won’t be easy. If results from the first day of action at State University of New York at Buffalo are any indication, the Lady Matadors are in for a struggle.
Northridge leads the competition with 96 points after Wednesday’s races, but North Dakota, with 78 points and an upset victory over CSUN in the 200-yard medley relay already to its credit, is in hot pursuit.
“We’re going to be in a battle,” said Northridge Coach Pete Accardy, whose team held a 156-point advantage over second-place Tampa at the end of last season’s meet. “That relay was important. We would have been 30 points up compared to 18.”
If the final team standings are as close as the finish in the relay, the meet will be decided in the last few events Saturday. North Dakota’s winning time was one minute, 46.84 seconds; Northridge followed in 1:46.91.
“We swam well but we had a couple of slow starts,” Accardy said. We’re just not quite on the way we should be.”
Part of the problem, Accardy said, may be that the team missed valuable training time in the past few weeks when circulation problems forced the temporary closure of CSUN’s pool.
“It’s showing on some of the swims,” Accardy said. “We’re placing high, but we’re not swimming as fast as we’d like.”
But at least one CSUN swimmer, All-American Jude Kylander, is performing to expectations.
Kylander won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.44, breaking her school record of 23.80 set in 1987. Toady Kimble, a CSUN sophomore who edged Kylander in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. final three weeks ago, was fourth in 23.66.
With 25 yards to go, Kylander was in third place, but she caught Buffalo freshman Angela Blaser in the last 10 yards and out-touched her for the win.
“I feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been,” said Kylander, a senior who will be favored to win the 100-yard freestyle Friday. “Before, my distances weren’t good and my sprints were. Now I’ve got it all together.”
Northridge added a 1-2 finish by Jeanna Giessinger and Lisa Dial in the 500-yard freestyle. Giessinger, a senior, retained the title she won last season, clocking 4:55.80. Dial was clocked in 4:59.13 Wednesday.