MONTEREY PARK — Westmont swimming continued its success on the second and third days of
the La Verne Winter Invitational as additional Warriors qualified for the NAIA National Championships in
“I’m amazed by how well they did,” said Westmont head coach Jill Jones Lin of her team’s performance.
“They kept the energy and intensity for all six sessions of competition. Many swam four or five events in a
day and all at lifetime or season bests, which is brutal on your body. But they carried each other to the
end and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
“It was exactly the meet we needed to have at this point in the season. We are just over half way through
and this is a great way to start our winter phase of training and competing. With all that success, we still
have a lot of work to do and I feel the motivation and excitement they have to keep this momentum
Rian Lewandowski earned a berth in the national championship by finishing the 100 yard butterfly prelims
in a time of 1:01.26. In the finals, she finished eighth, improving her time to 1:00.22. Ceili Smaw (1:09.42)
and Emma Leathers (1:10.29) also competed in the event, achieving personal bests.
Although she had qualified yesterday as a part of a relay, Morgan Bienias posted a national qualification
time of 2:00.54 in the 200 yard freestyle prelims while claiming ninth in the finals (2:00.97). Devyn Hynds
(2:08.46), Allison Gonzalez (2:10.27) and Gaby Rego’s (2:10.82) times in the prelims earned each of
them a place in the finals as well. Gonzalez dropped her time by more than one second in the finals,
touching the wall in a time of 2:09.13.
Lewandowski and Bailey Lemmon both earned national qualification in the 100 yard backstroke. Lemmon
posted a time of 1:01.27 while Lewandowski swam for a time of 1:01.90.
Bienias placed fifth in the 1,650 yard freestyle in a time of 18:21.00. This is her fourth time to have beat
the national qualifying mark.
Lemmon finished sixth in the 100 yard freestyle which Jones Lin describes as, “one of the most exciting
races – four laps of 100 percent effort.” Lemmon’s time of 53.98 was 1.90 seconds faster than the
nationals qualifying time and the first time she has broken 54 seconds.
Competing in the 100 yard breaststroke were Olivia Huebner (1:20.11), Holley Fellows (1:22.30) and Sam
Allensworth (1:27.88), all of whom qualified for the finals where they each improved their respective times
from the preliminary swim.
Huebner also swam in the 400 yard individual medley, posting a time of 5:37.92 in the preliminaries and
5:33.94 in the finals.
In the 100 yard individual medley, Hynds placed seventh (1:07.62), Gonzalez ninth (1:08.27) and
Huebner 11th (1:09.98) in what Jones Lin called, ‘a fun event that isn’t swum in the NAIA
On Saturday, evening, Westmont competed in two relay events.
In the 200 yard medley relay, Bienias, Lewandowski, Lemmon and Hynds claimed fourth place with a
time of 1:54.44, more than 15 seconds faster than the nationals qualifying time.
“We finished Saturday’s finals with the toughest of all the relays – the 800 freestyle,” report Jones Lin.
“Our ‘A’ team is led by Morgan, Gaby, Allison and Devyn. All had great swims to lower our team record by
just over a second to 8:35.26.”
The mark is more than 35 seconds faster than the NAIA Championships qualifying time.
When the final event of the meet came on Sunday, Westmont finished strong.
“Our 400 yard freestyle relay was the most outstanding race of the night,” assessed Jones Lin. “The team
of Devyn, Rian, Morgan, and Bailey crushed their entry time by 10 seconds and had an epic anchor leg to
sneak them into fourth place.”
The Warriors quartet recorded a time of 3:43.51, more than 28 seconds faster than the qualifying mark.
“We had an amazing meet this past weekend,” Jones Lin concluded. “Combined, the team dropped over
250 seconds from their season best times.”
Westmont will next compete at the Chris Knorr Invitational at California Lutheran on January 3-4.