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December 29, 2011

Swimming Team Trains, Competes in So. Cal.

THIS WEEK: Pacific Lutheran competes in the CLU Winter Invitational in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The meet, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, will be held at the California Lutheran University outdoor pool. Weather forecast for the Thousand Oaks area on Friday calls for a daytime high of 69 degrees, which, when you think about it, is an odd thing for a Pacific Northwest school to include in a swimming press release.

WINTER WONDERLAND?: Pacific Lutheran swimmers are in the pool for practice and competition, but they've traveled a long way to get back into the water. The Lutes have been in Southern California since Tuesday for winter training and to compete in the CLU Winter Invitational. PLU second-year head coach Matt Sellman has scheduled twice-a-day practices at the Cal Lutheran pool, in addition to weight lifting and beach workouts on alternating days throughout the trip. The swimmers will return from sunny Southern California on Tuesday, Jan. 3, just in time for J-Term classes that start on Jan. 4. The Lutes have enjoyed (and if the weather forecast is accurate will continue to get) temperatures in the low 70s during their stay in Thousand Oaks.

THE GUEST LIST: Joining the host school and Pacific Lutheran at the CLU Winter Invitational will be UC Santa Cruz, NCAA Division I Pepperdine, and Northwest Conference powerhouse Whitworth.

PLU'S SECOND TIME AT WINTER INVITATIONAL: Pacific Lutheran is making its second appearance at the CLU Winter Invitational. Under the direction of then head coach Jim Johnson, the 2007-08 Lutes swam in the meet on Jan. 2, 2008. The PLU women placed fifth out of six teams and the men were fifth out of five in that invitational.

LAST YEAR'S INVITATIONAL RESULTS: A total of four teams competed at last year's CLU Winter Invitational, including Whitworth, which won the men's competition by slightly more than 100 points over UC Santa Cruz. Cal Lutheran was third and La Verne was fourth in the men's division. On the women's side, UC Santa Cruz placed first, followed by Whitworth, Cal Lutheran and La Verne.

MOVING INTO 2012: Pacific Lutheran will swim in five Northwest Conference dual meets in January, all of them on the road, starting with Lewis & Clark at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13 and Pacific at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14. The starting time for the Pacific dual, was moved up two hours to accommodate a scheduling conflict at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center.

- PLU -