BAKERSFIELD, Calif. Two student-athletes will represent CSU Bakersfield at the US Open Swimming Championships in East Meadow, NY August 2-6.
Junior Jake Chir and senior Lovre Soric will make the cross-country trip along with director of swimming and diving Chris Hanson to take on the best competition in the nation at the annual championships being held at the Nassau County Aquatic Center.
“We are heading to the Big Apple,” Hansen said. “This is a big deal for Jake and Lovre, they will be swimming amongst some of the best in the world.”
Chir had an impressive sophomore season lowering his personal best in 100 breast in WAC prelims to 54.97, an NCAA B cut time and third-best in CSUB history. He finished eighth in 100 breast to earned Second Team All-Conference honors. He will compete in the 100 breast stroke on Saturday and will time trial for the 200 breast stroke on Thursday an and the 50 breast stroke on Sunday.
“This is Jake's first real big meet, if he handles his nerves he has a chance to get a final swim,” Hansen said.
Chir says he's looking to see what he can learn during this US Open experience.
“Just looking for good times, to see what other competitors are doing, to learn and see what I can take back here for the next season,” he said.
Soric is coming off a junior campaign that included two bronze medals and one silver medal for three First Team All-Conference honors at WAC Championships. He won silver in 400 IM while breaking school record with NCAA B cut time (3:49.40) and bronze in 200 IM with another school record and B cut time (1:46.40). Soric also won bronze in 200 back with third school record and B cut time of meet (1:45.14) and qualified for the US Open, US Nationals and World Trials in multiple events. He qualified for the US Open in the 200 back stroke, the 400 IM, the 200 IM and the 50 freestyle although what events he will actually compete in will be determined once the meet begins.
“Lovre is used to these types of meets and could continue his successful career with some final swims,” Hansen said. “That being said, it isn't going to be easy, our goal is to go in and swim the best times and have fun.”
“It's going to be a great experience for us, it's going to be great testing our skills right before the season starts so we're just really excited to be here,” Soric said.
Hansen, a New York-native is also excited to show these student-athletes a part of the country that have not seen before.
“I am from this area, so I am also excited to show them around my neck of the woods and after they swim the best times, I'll show them what real pizza tastes like.”