In a meet that saw some of the fastest swimming ever to take place at Haldeman pool, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags and Athenas took out the undefeated Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens last Saturday to complete their perfect SCIAC dual-meet record. The men and women of CMS combined to set 11 Haldeman pool records and won the meet 211-86 on the men’s side and 197-103 on the women’s. This meet moves both the Stags and Athenas to 8-0 in SCIAC dual meets and the P-P men and women to 7-1.
The meet began with the diving events, including the one- and three-meter competitions. CMS got off to a quick lead thanks to 1-2-3 sweeps in both the men’s and women’s three-meter events. For the Stags, James Stevick CM ’15 took first, followed by Jay Kabellis CM ’15 in second and Julian Laguisma CMC ’14 in third. Mary Lynn Clark SC ’17 dove to victory, followed by Carli Lessard HM ’17 in second and Chavi Checker SC ’17 in third. In the one-meter diving event, CMS took first through third on the men’s side, while the women claimed first and second. P-P diver Dawn Barlow PZ ’16 took third for the Sagehens to prevent the CMS sweep.
The Stags continued their success as they began the swimming portion of the meet with a record-setting 200-yard medley relay. The team of Matt Williams CM ’17, Zach Alleva CM ’16, Patrick Schultz CM ’15, and Joey Hinton CM ’16 clocked in at 1:33.70, breaking the Haldeman pool record, taking the victory, and setting the stage for many more record-breaking performances.
“The energy level and determination of the team at this meet was higher than anything I’ve seen up to this point,” Williams said. “Normally we would have to psych each other up behind the blocks for our races to get a little extra adrenaline going. At this meet there was no need; everyone knew what they had to do, and they were focused on doing it. It was just exciting to be a part of it.”
Williams, the standout first-year from Bellevue, Wash. went on to break two more pool records, in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke. Up against P-P’s own exceptional backstroker, Daniel To PO ’17, Williams was able to come away with both victories while also setting a CMS varsity record of 49.54 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke.
When asked about his individual swims, Williams said, “Overall, [my swims] felt pretty good. I was working on some issues with my underwater swimming for the backstroke and was happy to see that they resolved themselves at this meet.”
Saturday’s meet was also the last home meet of the year for the Sagehens, and was marked by a pre-meet ceremony to honor the seniors of the team. As is tradition, the P-P seniors ran through a tunnel of arms created by their teammates before receiving their gifts. Alex Lincoln PO ’14, a four-year swimmer and five-time SCIAC individual champion, couldn’t believe her time at Haldeman pool was over.
“It’s always been a remarkable experience seeing the seniors run through the tunnel on senior day, and now that it was finally my turn, it was surreal,” Lincoln said. “It really didn’t hit me until after the meet. The team has meant everything to me, and it was nice to have our rivals at our home pool for the last meet.”
Although the Sagehens lost the meet, both the men’s and women’s teams had their fair share of highlights.
For the men, Kyle Dalrymple PO ’17 took two victories in breaststroke events. Dalrymple won an exciting race in the 200-yard breaststroke by edging out Anthony Ribal CM ’17 by three-tenths of a second and then took down the school record set by Ferrel Atkin PO ’16 in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing in a time of 58.73.
The Sagehen women finished off the meet with a come-from-behind victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Cayla Nishizaki PO ’17, Vicky Gyorffy PO ’15, Johanna Rayl PO ’16, and Lincoln were behind by a full body length when Lincoln, the anchor leg, dove into the pool. Lincoln raced home to overtake the CMS swimmer and touch the wall first.
After the meet, backstroker Jackie Tran PO ’14 reflected on the Sagehens’ loss.
“CMS gave us a great challenge and forced us all to step it up,” she said. “Although the end result wasn’t what we wanted, it made us all way more excited for the SCIAC championships.”
Both teams will meet again for the SCIAC championship next weekend in Commerce, Calif. The meet will span four days, starting Feb. 20.