CMS Swim and Dive Powering to Season's End
Blaise Malley | Feb. 3, 2017, 10:40 a.m.
The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams had an undefeated season in SCIAC play. On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Stags and Athenas continued their strong seasons with wins in meets against California Lutheran University and California Institute of Technology, 153-68 and 170-40, respectively, for the Stags, and 173-64 and 197-30 for the Athenas at Axelrood Pool.
“We have a good group of high quality student athletes that are willing to work hard, and they love to get up and race when it’s time to race” head coach Griffiths said when asked about the key to his teams' success.
The teams have found consistent success all year, and this past weekend, CMS set three pool records. In the women’s one-meter diving event, Maia Presti SC ’18 broke her own pool record (a score of 273.83 earlier this season) by registering a score of 318.00. The next four spots were also taken by CMS divers. The Athenas also had the four highest scoring totals in the three-meter event.
In the men’s 100-yard breaststroke, both Aaron Lutzker HM ’19 and Tyler Welty CM ’19 came in under the previous pool record of 57.90, with Lutzker winning the event at 57.72. The third pool record was set by Matthew Williams CM ’17 in the 200-yard freestyle event with a time of 1:41.23. The Stags also won a handful of other events, including the 200-yard freestyle relay, the 1650-yard freestyle (also won by Lutzker), and the 500-yard freestyle (won by Ben Culberson CM ’20).
“It’s a sign that we’re performing well as we’re getting towards the end of the season, when we want to be at our peak," Griffiths said. "Now that we’re into the start of second semester and the workouts are a little bit shorter, they get to feel a bit fresher and swim really fast."
Griffiths also pointed to the balance present in the roster as a key for the team, saying that the pool records this weekend were set by a senior, a junior and a sophomore. He added that first-years also set pool records earlier in the season, including Jocelyn Crawford CM ’20, who this weekend was 0.03 seconds off breaking her own pool record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.02.
Overall, the Stags and Athenas dominated the meet on Saturday, with both teams winning the majority of events.
"[The team] focuses a lot on the process and trying to get everyone to swim as well as they can and dive as well as they can," Griffiths said. "If we’re able to do that we’ll be in position to compete for championships and have people make NCAAs and stand out there," he said.
The road to that ultimate goal is fast approaching, as the Stags and Athenas finish their regular season schedules against Pomona-Pitzer at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, before moving on to the SCIAC and NCAA championships over the course of the next month and a half.