Lutes Dive Into 2011-12 Season Tonight
SEASON OPENER TONIGHT: The Pacific Lutheran University men's and women's swim teams kick off their seasons tonight against the College of Idaho. Last year, both the men's and women's team came away with victories over C of I. The men took the meet by a score of 136-40 while the women came away with a 147-35 decision. Today's season opening meet is set two weeks before the Northwest Conference Sprints and Relays which will take place on October 28 and 29 in Spokane, Wash. And Walla Walla, Wash. respectively. The meet on campus in Parkland is set to begin at 6 p.m. The Lutes will be back at it again on Saturday as they will host swimming alumni for their annual Alumni Meet. They will hit the water at 8 a.m.
A LOOK AT THE LUTES: On the men's side, an exciting array of talent gives the Lutes a good chance of placing high in the conference. Returning for the Lutes are Jacob Deines, Chase Mesford, and Rayan Carter. Deines finished third in the 200 butterfly (1:56.87) and seventh in the 200 (1:59.51) and 400 (4:18.20) IM at the conference meet. Mesford placed 11th in the 500 free (4:55.94), 8th in the 200 free (1:47.21), and 12th in the 100 free (49.39) at conference, while Carter finished 3rd in the 100 breast (1:00.29) and 16th in 100 free (50.65). These wiley veterans will help guide the Lutes this season. On the women's side of the team, replacing key members of last year's team will be crucial to repeating the success of 2010-11. The team loses central figures to the team, with Jessie Klauder and Casey Jackson both graduating. The team does return Kina Ackerman (sixth in the 400 IM (4:48.63) and 1650 free (18:15.52) and 12th in the 200 IM (2:15.79) at the NWC meet) and Liz Althauser from 2010-11.
A LOOK BACK TO LAST YEAR: Both the men's and women's teams last year finished with a winning record. Last season at the NWC Championship meet, freshman Jacob Deines was the only PLU swimmer to advance to the championship final. He finished seventh in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:59.54. Sophomore teammate Phil Rempe finished 16th in the event with a 2:07.89. Senior Jessie Klauder provided the top finish for the PLU women, placing 10th in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:17.12. Sophomore Kina Ackerman had her second sixth-place conference meet finish for the Lutes women, clocking 18:15.52 in the 1650 freestyle.
ABOUT THE COACH: While an undergraduate at Pacific Lutheran, Sellman was a three-time academic and athletic All-American, twice was team captain and most inspirational swimmer, and three times received the team's outstanding swimmer award. He received the school's Man of the Year in Sports award in 1996. Matt Sellman returned to his alma mater as aquatics director and head swim coach beginning with the 2010-11 season. Sellman came to PLU from University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. In his time there he coached 44 UMW swimmers to NCAA Division III qualifying standards, and nine of his athletes earned All-America honors. Sellman is assisted by Courtney Eronemo, who joins the team this season after a remarkable swim career for the University of California-Berkley.