29 Th11 2021 | 08:01
LOS ANGELES – The Grand Canyon’s women’s swimming team finished three dual-meet battles at Burns Aquatic Center, completing two weekend sweeps by beating Seattle U 149-46 and Loyola Marymount 157-46 on Saturday. The Lopes also fell short against San Diego State, 120-79.
“This was a very good second meet for us with some really good early season,” head coach Steve Schaffer said. “I love how the team is starting to come together and support each other.”
Junior Briana Rittenbach, sophomore Raphaela Nakashima and seniors Emily Muteti and Claire Banic opened up the meet with a second-place finish for GCU in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of three minutes, 49.28 seconds.
Individually, the Lopes women were led by a trio of swimmers.
Rittenbach won the 200 freestyle (1:56.28) while also taking home second in the 500 freestyle (5:12.64). Muteti earned the win in the 50 freestyle with a speedy time of 23.55. Junior Kaitlyn Carr finished third with a time of 23.96. Senior Robyn Edwards earned her first win of the season in the 200 backstroke (2:02.74).
A freshman duo earn top-three finishes but couldn’t overcome the Aztecs.
Freshman Maria Brunlehner took second in the 100 free (51.68) after a close race with San Diego State’s Meredith Smithbacker. Classmate Aleksandra Wegrzynowska took home two top-three finishes in the 400 individual medley (4:34.93) and the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:06.68.
Nakashima earned a third-place finish in the 200 breaststroke (2:17.81) and a fourth-place finish (1:58.97) in 200 freestyle. Sophomore Madeline Vindiola took second in the 1,000 freestyle (10:49.52).
Muteti, Banic, Carr and Brunlehner battled to the end with San Diego State’s in the 200 freestyle relay, but the Aztecs won by an arm’s length with a time of 1:34.44, a difference of .34.
“We still have a lot to get done and some learning to do if we are going finish he season the way we want to,” Schaffer said. “This is a special group of athletes and I believe in all of them. It’s going to be a fun year.”
Up next, GCU will take a week off before traveling to Colorado for a meet with Air Force on Nov. 5-6.