Officially, two days remain in the NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships at State University of New York at Buffalo.
The race for the women’s team title, however, could be decided today. Or so hopes CSUN Coach Pete Accardy.
“Psychologically, we’re in a position to end it,” Accardy said Thursday.
Defending-champion Northridge can only hope that its coach’s latest prediction is more accurate than the one he offered after the first day of competition.
“The second day is our worst,” Accardy had said Wednesday. “Hopefully, we can hang on.”
The Lady Matadors did better than that, increasing their lead over second-place North Dakota State to 160-131.
Two individuals and a relay team competed for Northridge in finals Thursday and all three won in times that approached Division II records.
Stacey Mettam, a senior, won the 100-yard backstroke in 58.67 seconds--her fifth career individual title.
“I needed that so bad,” said Mettam, who finished third in the event last season after winning it as a freshman and sophomore. “I needed the confidence boost. I kept saying to myself, ‘You’ve worked so hard for this.’ I knew I deserved it. That’s what got me going.”
Tina Schnare won the 100-yard breaststroke for the fourth consecutive year, in 1:04.83.
CSUN’s 800-yard freestyle relay team of Jeanna Giessinger, Jude Kylander, Lisa Dial and Michelle Sulak coasted to a six-second victory in 7:32.45, just off the meet record time of 7:31.60 they set last season.
“The girls came alive tonight,” Accardy said. “I was hoping we’d survive this day, but we did much better than that.”
In the men’s competition, Northridge fell to sixth place despite strong performances in consolation races.
Rick Giambastini, a senior transfer from University of the Pacific, won the consolation championship in the 200-yard butterfly with a season-best of 1:52.15. That time would have placed him fourth in the final.
Freshman Joe Brosler timed 53.11 to win the consolation title in the 100-yard backstroke.
The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Ted Hollahan, Tim Arnold, John Kunishima and Kurt White clocked a season-best 6:44.86 to finish third for CSUN, which started the day tied with Chico State in fourth place.
In the team standings, Cal State Bakersfield is well on its way to clinching its fourth consecutive title. The Roadrunners hold a commanding 241-189 advantage over Oakland (Mich.).
Northridge has 73 points, one ahead of seventh-place UC Davis.