THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – With the season looming the Cal Lutheran men’s swimming and diving team has been diligently preparing for their 2013-14 campaign, which is set to get underway this weekend.
CLU welcomes back 18 members of the 2012-13 roster and adds an incoming class of seven with one transfer, four true freshmen and a pair of swimmers who were sidelined with injuries a year ago. With a senior class of 12 the Kingsmen will surely look to the leadership and experience of that dozen.
Returning to the pool this winter is a pair of current individual CLU record holders in Conrad Sheffer (100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM, 400 IM) and Aaron Waters (100 back).They are each part of record-holding relay teams as well, joined by Tyler Berg and Chase Miller.
The 400 Free Relay record (3:09.64) is held by Sheffer, Kyle Eckhard, Miller and Berg while the 200 Medley Relay team of Waters, Sheffer, Eckhart and Berg went a 1:36.35 at last year’s SCIAC Championships for the top school mark and the quartet of Waters, Sheffer, Eckhart and Miller combined for a time of 3:31.01 in the 400 Medley Relay in February of 2013. Additionally, Sheffer is part of both the 200 and 800 Free Relay records.
Sheffer, Ryan Brem and Anthony Nguyen have earned All-SCIAC recognition during his career. Nguyen will conclude his senior season swimming breaststroke, IM and distance events while Sheffer will continue to breaststroke, sprint and swim IM races. Brem was the only CLU All-SCIAC honoree last year, earning accolades on both the one and three meter boards.
On the boards, junior Kevin Schultz and sophomore Joey Zielsdorf will dive alongside Brem.
Berg will be sprinting while Miller is staged to swim middle distance and sprint events as seniors. Mason Hill will wrap up his collegiate career by swimming butterfly and distance and Zach Kaija is prepared to compete in IM and breaststroke in his last year of action.
Set to transition back into the swimming lanes after water polo season concludes are Sheffer, Derrick Graham, Zach Loza, Spencer McGrath, Mike Potter and David Sparks. McGrath and Sparks will both sprint while Graham and Potter will each step onto the blocks for the distance races. Graham, McGrath and Sparks are all seniors.
The junior class is comprised of five athletes with three swimmers and a pair of divers. Potter is joined by Jake Hutton who will swim butterfly.
Suiting up for the Violet and Gold after a hiatus will be junior Ricky Hegner and senior Garrett Naumann who will swim butterfly and middle distance and backstroke, respectively.
A duo of sophomores in Philip Anderson and Luis Burgos bring back a year of college experience.
Joining the Kingsmen from UCSD by way of Ventura College is Mike Fernandez who came into camp in fine form and will swim IM and middle distance events for CLU as a senior.
The freshman class is comprised of Loza (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Dominick Barriere (American Canyon, Calif.), Patrick Gregory (San Diego, Calif.) and Andrew Nguyen (Simi Valley, Calif.).
The 2013-14 swimming and diving season begins this weekend when the Kingsmen travel to the Malibu Invitational at Pepperdine on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25-26 with diving on Friday and swimming events on Saturday.