Birmingham, Ala. — The Cal State East Bay women's swim team scored points in three events on the last day of the 2016-17 NCAA Division II Championships to finish in 15th place in the final team standings with a total of 93 points at the national meet in Birmingham's Crossplex Natatorium.
The Pioneers, who were ranked No. 21 in the nation according to the final Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) poll, match their best national finish in program history. They also placed 15th when the team last competed at NCAA Championships in 2014.
With 93 total points, CSUEB was the third-highest scoring team from the West Region, trailing only Fresno Pacific (10th - 167 points) and California Baptist (14th - 125 points.). The Pioneers finished ahead of several outstanding teams, including Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference (PCSC) champion and No. 6 ranked UC San Diego (16th - 91 points).
The highlight of the day came during the morning prelims, when Claire Beaty broke her own school record in the 200 Breast to qualify fourth for the championship final in the evening. Beaty's mark of 2:14.56 was nearly a second better than her previous record. The junior placed eighth in the 200 Breast championship, earning First Team All-America honors.
Beaty's achievement marks the second time this week the Pioneers have a had a top-eight finish in a championship final, as she joins Morgan McClure in the 400 IM.
Speaking of McClure, she added another point to East Bay's team score by qualifying for the consolation finals in the 200 Back with a time of 2:00.90. The junior took 16th place overall after placing eighth in her evening race. Mariam Lowe also competed in the 200 Back, finishing 28th in prelims with a time of 2:04.07.
The Pioneers closed out the NCAA meet with an outstanding effort in the final event of the week, the 400 Free Relay. The foursome of Madison Hauanio, McClure, Vivy Hua, and Shelby Parker qualified 12th in prelims to reach the consolation final. They swam even faster in the evening, finishing in 3:26.51 to place 11th in the nation and add a dozen points to the team score.
All in all, CSUEB broke five school records in the four-day meet. McClure (400 IM) and Beaty (200 Breast) became the first Pioneers since 2014 to claim First Team All-America honors. McClure is also an honorable mention All-American with top-16 individual finishes in the 200 IM, 100 Back, and 200 Back. In addition, all six East Bay swimmers will be honorable mention All-Americans as the Pioneers impressively finished top-16 in all three Free Relays and both Medley Relays.
The 2016-17 season was a tremendous success for the Pioneers under first-year head coach Shane Pelton. But with four of these six swimmers returning and a relatively young team overall, East Bay will look to continue to build itself into a major contender at the Division II level.
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Release courtesy Steve Connolly, Pioneer Athletics