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Cyclone Spotlights


As the spring semester winds up, the Mills swimming team is beginning to wind down. For the past two weekends, the team has competed in its last two regular season meets, first at Cal-Tech & Chapmen in a double dual meet on Friday, Jan. 30th, then against BIOLA on the 31st, and finally at home against Cal State East Bay on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Desirae Tongco, freshman

San Francisco City native Desirae Tongco-or “D-Rae,” as the team calls her-swam her way to two personal bests in the 100 fly, her signature event. This first-year swimmer took two seconds off her time in the Friday meet, but didn’t stop there. She came back the next morning and improved by an additional four seconds.

“She made an adjustment in her strategy and had great results,” said Head Coach Neil Virtue. “D-Rae inspires our team like no other when she is in the pool. Her outlook and support for team members has been invaluable and her willingness to challenge herself helped her achieve significant improvements.”

Cathy Knight, freshman

This past weekend, Cathy Knight, a first year swimmer from Stillwater, MN swam her way to two season best times and a spot in one of those individual events at the NAIA National meet March 5-7. To qualify for Nationals, a swimmer must obtain an “A” time in their event. Once they obtain an “A” time in one event, they are also permitted to race one additional event at Nationals if they obtain a slightly more reachable “B” time.

In the meet against Cal State East Bay, Cathy not only bettered her 200 free time by four seconds, she got a ‘B’ time for Nationals, and placed second in her race with a 2:12.47. She also won the 100 fly in a season best time of 1:07.23 which was also a ‘B’ time for Nationals. Since Cathy is also the lead swimmer for the 400 free relay (which also automatically qualified for the “A” time), Kathy will get to swim an additional event (from her “B” qualifying times) at Nationals.

While the regular swimming season is over, seven swimmers will advance to Nationals in St. Louis, MO. You can follow the Cyclone Swimming team at Nationals by going to and click on Women’s swimming and diving and then ‘2009 National Championships’. Go Cyclones!