UAF Swim turns attention toward PCSC Championships following successful weekend

Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 7:00 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - March 26 was a day of many firsts for the University of Alaska Fairbanks swim team. The program competed in a pool against someone other than themselves for the first time in over a year, they picked up their first head-to-head win in over two years and first-year head coach Cameron Kainer collected his first win as a Nanook.

The UAF Swimmers took down Westmont College 128-71 in Santa Barbara, California in Kainer’s first meet coaching poolside with the Blue and Gold.

For some, it was also their first time competing at an outdoor pool.

“I think overall they really acclimated pretty well to it,” said Kainer. “Fortunately it wasn’t super hot while we were there, the pool temperature was a good temperature too. I think they really figured out what it is like and are able to kind of put it into the meet coming up here pretty soon.”

That meet is the Pacific Coast Swimming and Diving Championships April 14-16 at the Woolett Aquatic Center in Irvine, California, also an outdoor pool.

Outdoor competition is not something the seven Alaskans on the roster are too familiar with, though it was hard to tell by their performances.

“We had some pretty stellar swims from a couple of our Alaskans and we were very excited about that,” added Kainer. “I think there is a lot of great swim programs here in the state, especially Fairbanks has really good programs here.”

The swimmers hailing from the 49th State include juniors Jessica Williamson (North Pole), Whitney McArthur (Sitka), Camille Dayton (Big Lake), sophomore Kyleigh McArthur (Sitka), as well as freshmen Cassandra Erdman (Fairbanks), Shannon McCallum (Fairbanks) and Mesa Moran (Juneau). Whitney McArthur, McCallum and Moran each had top-three finishes on the weekend.

The Nanooks used victories in eight different events to propel them to victory on day one, led by a variety of impressive performances.

UAF Victories vs Westmont (3/26)

200 Yard Medley RelayKakazu, W. McArthur, Bygdnes, Lioi1:54.64
1,000 Yard FreestyleTori Shoemaker11:19.81
200 Yard ButterflyGabrielle Davy2:19.41
50 Yard FreestyleWhitney McArthur25.59
100 Yard FreestyleOda Bygdnes55.26
200 Yard BreaststrokeCaroline McCormick2:43.35
200 Yard IMOda Bygdnes2:15.16
400 Yard Freestyle RelayLioi, W. McArthur, Kakazu, Bygdnes3:49.25

Following the win Friday, the Nanooks turned around Saturday for a tri-meet with Westmont and Loyola Marymount, a Division I program. UAF defeated Westmont 106.5-79.5, but fell to Loyola Marymount 116-70.

Top UAF Performances vs Westmont/Loyola Marymount (3/27)

1200 Yard Medley RelayKakazu, W. McArthur, Bygdnes, Lioi1:53.31
1200 Yard FreestyleGabrielle Davy2:15.09
1100 Yard FreestyleOda Bygdnes54.83
1100 Yard ButterflyOda Bygdnes59.66
2200 Yard Freestyle RelayBygdnes, McCallum, Lioi, W. McArthur1:41.54
2100 Yard BackstrokeErika Kakazu1:04.81
3500 Yard FreestyleTori Shoemaker5:37.67
4400 Yard IMShannon McCallum5:00.74
4100 Yard BreaststrokeCaroline McCormick1:17.19
550 Yard FreestyleWhitney McArthur26.10

The PCSC Championships will conclude UAF’s season.

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