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Mia Llamas from Galax, Virginia had announced her commitment to swim and study at California Baptist University beginning in the fall of 2023. The CBU Lancers are a newly minted Division I program as of the 2022-2023 season.
“It is with immense gratitude and fulfillment that I announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic careers at California Baptist University! I want to thank my teammates, teachers, friends, family, and coaches for always supporting me. Especially Scott, Lucas, Ned, and Trace. Without you guys I wouldn’t be where I am today. I can’t wait to be a Lancer! 💙🤍💛 #lanceup⚔️”
Llamas is in her senior year at Galax High School and swims year-round for H2okie Aquatics out of Christiansburg, Virginia. She is a backstroke and butterfly specialist but dabbles in freestyle and the IM events as well. At the VSI Short Course Senior Championships in March 2022, Llamas hit best times across three of her four disciplines. She touched 24th to make it into finals in the 100-yard back, hitting her best time of 58.38 in prelims. She also achieved a best time in the prelims of the 400IM (4:33.72) to place 27th and make finals. Her final best time of the meet came in the 100-yard fly, where she placed 34th with a 58.44.
Best Times SCY:
50 free — 25.33
100 free — 53.55
100 back — 58.38
200 back — 2:07.28
100 fly — 58.44
200 fly — 2:09.55
400IM — 4:33.72
As of the 2022-2023 season, California Baptist University is officially a Division I program, though they have been competing as part of the Division I Western Athletic Conference for several years. The difference now is that CBU athletes are eligible to compete in the NCAA Divison I Swimming and Diving Championships if they qualify. At the 2022 WAC Conference Championships, the Lancers placed 5th out of eight teams, with the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks winning with a total of 770 points.
Most of CBU’s points came from freestyle events, with freestylers Giulia Decataldo and Rebecca Oviedo being the highest scoring swimmers. The Lancers had a team of 22 at WAC championships this past year, but they have expanded their team significantly with a freshman class of 12 individuals. Still, most of these freshmen are primary freestylers.
With her backstroke/butterfly/IM specialty, Llamas will be a rare, non-freestyle addition. Her most impactful events are projected to be her backstroke and IM events, since the Lancers have a lean roster in those specialties. CBU also lost their most significant IM and backstroke point-scorer, Patricia Van Law (3rd at WAC Champs in both the 400IM and 200 back) since she graduated in spring 2022. Llamas’ highest scoring event at the WAC Championships would have been her 200-yard backstroke where she would have tied for 16th in finals with University of Northern Colorado’s Hannah Kingscote. She would have been one of two CBU finalists in the 400-yard IM (18th), and the only finalist for CBU in the 100-yard back (18th).
Llamas will be joining a 2027 class of three with the Lancers continuing their strong freestyle tradition in the additions of Oregonian Olivia Walton and Hawaiian Kai Flanagan.
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