Five Cyclone swimmers will make history when they represent Mills College at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Nationals in St. Peters, MO, this Wednesday through Sunday.
According to Mills' Head Swim Coach Neil Virtue, this will be the third time the swim team will be competing in the NAIA Nationals and the fifth time any Mills athletic team has competed at the national level.
On Thursday freshwoman Shayna Elbling, sophomore Chrissy Fisher, junior Catherine Stitt and senior Sophia Tuttle will swim in the 200-yard medley relay.
Sophomore Erin Lucas, Tuttle, Fisher and Elbling will compete in the 200-yard freestyle relay on Friday. Elbling, Fisher, Stitt and Tuttle will team up again to compete in the 400-yard medley relay. Fisher will also compete in the 100-yard breaststroke event.
Saturday's events include the 200-yard breaststroke, which will be swum by Fisher and Stitt. Stitt will also swim the mile, or 1650-yard freestyle event. Swimmers Elbling, Fisher, Stitt and Tuttle will swim the 400-yard freestyle relay.
A preliminary round for each event will be held on the morning of each day. The top six swimmers will swim in the finals and swimmers who place in spots seven through twelve will swim in a consolation round later in the day. Virtue said that over a three day period, swimmers could potentially compete in 16 to 19 swims.
According to Elbling, only two teams will be representing Northern California at the competition.
"I'm thinking positively," said Elbling. Even so, "it's kind of nerve-racking because some of the teams there are really good compared to teams I've competed against."
Virtue said, "Water is water no matter if it's at Nationals, practice or a dual meet."
Mills Athletic Director Themy Adachi compared the experience to the Olympics and was proud that the swimmers would be representing Mills College at the National level. "You don't get these chances often," she said. "It's a great honor for the college."
For competition results and stories, visit the women's swimming link on www.naia.org.