Swimming & Diving voted 6th in RMAC preseason coaches poll

Swimming & Diving voted 6th in RMAC preseason coaches poll

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (October 1, 2014) ~ Entering its inaugural season of competition, the Colorado State University-Pueblo swimming & diving team has been picked to finish sixth in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. Additionally, junior Clarissa Gardella (Bakersfield, Calif.) and freshman Leila Zijadic (North Vancouver, B.C., Canada) were named to the preseason all-conference team.

The ThunderWolves, led by head coach Brian Pearson, collected 11 points overall in the poll. California Baptist University was selected to finish first in the league after earning six of seven first place votes and 36 overall points.

Gardella comes to CSU-Pueblo after swimming for two years at Bakersfield (Calif.) College. While at Bakersfield, Gardella was a two-time All-American in the 50 free. The Bakersfield, Calif., native also garnered All-American accolades in the 50 back, 200 and 400 free and the 200 and 400 medley relays for the Renegades. Gardella helped lead Bakersfield to a Western States Conference crown as a sophomore (2014) after placing second in the 50 back (27.92), 50 free (24.62) and 100 free (54.69).

Just a freshman, Zijadic earned several provincial medals in British Columbia, including gold in the 200 breast. Zijadic qualified for the finals in the Canadian Age Group Championships, finishing sixth, while also taking sixth in the Western Canadian Championships. Zijadic competed at the club level for both Chena Swim Club and the West Vancouver Otters, where she broke many club records in the breaststroke events.

The Pack were one of four squads to be represented by a pair of student-athletes on the preseason all-conference squad. Mary Hanson of Cal Baptist was voted the preseason swimmer of the year, while her teammate Breanne Schlenger was selected as the preseason diver of the year.

CSU-Pueblo will compete in its first-ever meet on Oct. 12 versus RMAC opponent Western State Colorado University. The meet will begin at 3 p.m. at Pueblo County High School.

2014-15 RMAC Women's Swimming & Diving Preseason Coaches Poll

School (First Place Votes)      Points

1. California Baptist (6)          36       

2. Lindenwood (1)                  27

3. Colorado Mesa                    26 

4. Adams State                       20

5. Colorado Mines                  19

6. CSU-Pueblo                       11

7. Western State                      8


Preseason All-RMAC

Name                        School                           Year      Hometown

Briana Burns             Colorado Mines             Fr.         Houston, Texas

Katrin Gallup             Colorado Mines             So.        The Woodlands, Texas

Clarissa Gardella     CSU-Pueblo                 Jr.         Bakersfield, Calif.

Mary Hanson             Cal Baptist                    Sr.         Ridgecrest, Calif.

Yosita Hapsari           Cal Baptist                    Jr.          Jakarta, Indonesia

Eryn Leonard             Colorado Mesa             So.        Craig, Colo.

Marissa Mantzey        Adams State                 So.        Peoria, Ariz.

Alena Rumiantceva    Cal Baptist                     Jr.         Arkgangelsk, Russia

Mary Saiz                   Colorado Mesa              So.        Pueblo, Colo.

Leila Zijadic            CSU-Pueblo                    Fr.        North Vancouver, B.C., Canada

 # CSU-Pueblo #

As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.