Arm in arm, each pair of swimmers leaned forward off the blocks, jumped gracefully into the air, and… hit the water belly first with a cringe-inducing smack and impressive splash. The men’s P-P swimming & diving team’s well-choreographed belly-flop cascade left onlookers wincing and cheering and the athletes’ exposed stomachs and chests a vibrant red. The Sagehens positively demolished the competition at the annual Redlands Pentathlon Mid-Meet Men’s Belly Flop Contest.
Other teams put together ramshackle performances—five or six athletes individually demonstrating the overdone running flop or forcing half-hearted freshman to participate—but the P-P men put on an impressive show. All 20 men doubled up on the blocks of the 10-lane pool and synchronized an aesthetically pleasing and obviously planned cascade routine, each pair starting to lean as the previous pair neared the surface, navel first. To cap off an obvious victory, Sagecock swimmers reassembled for an equally fluid and water-smacking back flop performance. Coach Michael Wong agreed that the team had by far “the most impressive” showing of the competition.
And the Sagehens swam pretty well too. At the Pentathlon, every athlete from nearly all of the SCIAC teams competes in a 100-yard race of each stroke. After all four 100s have been completed, there is a short break (for belly-flopping), during which the officials sum up the times for each athlete for all four swims and seed the fifth event, the 100 Individual Medley. A combination of points from the four races and the points from the 100 IM decides the overall winner.
On the women’s side, CMS put up some fast cumulative times as two freshmen finished in the top three overall. For the men, Redlands looked strong. Coach Wong was pleased with the Sagehens’ results, saying that everyone, “swam much better than at the [Redlands] Invite.” Times were “much, much better than three weeks ago,” and people “looked better” in the water. Based on the results, Wong stated that the team was doing well on its goal of continual improvement throughout the season, affirming, that “we are on track.”
For the Sagehens, Wong identified Max Scholten PO ’12 for the men and Morgan Ingemanson PO ’13 for the women as standouts. Despite a lingering elbow injury, Scholten won the overall crown for the men, which he said was “pretty cool.” He posted a 53.1 in the 100 back, an impressive time this early in the year. Ingemanson swam “really well in four out of five events” and placed 17th overall, surprising Coach Wong and teammates with her speed after having been sick all week. Alex Lincoln PO ’14 placed the highest on the women’s team at 13th, complementing an impressive 100 freestyle with three solid swims in the other strokes and a quality 100 IM.
In the coming weeks, the Sagehen swimmers will continue with their grueling training schedule, interrupting their nine practices per week only with an intra-squad meet at Haldeman this Saturday and competitions against La Verne and CMS Dec. 3 and 4.