At 7 a.m. last Saturday morning, four lonely Pomona-Pitzer swimmers sat on the curb outside the University of Redlands pool, eagerly awaiting the FedEx truck bearing the team swimsuits and caps to be worn during that day’s competition. They watched as teams from Cal Baptist, Concordia, Grand Canyon, La Verne, and Whittier Colleges shuffled past them into the pool area, but still no FedEx truck. When the rest of the Sagehens arrived at 7:40, they had to bring the unfortunate news that the gear would not likely arrive in time for the beginning of the meet at 9 a.m. It was only sometime after the third event of the day that two P-P swimmers walked in holding a disheveled-looking cardboard box containing the new suits and caps. The Sagehens were instantly transformed, dazzling the Redlands pool deck with radiant blue and orange stripes.
But the Hens were not discouraged before the suits arrived. With everyone wearing their practice gear, the Sagehens may not have looked like a team, but they still showed strong spirit. After the freshmen successfully learned and executed the traditional “Ogan” cheer, the swim season officially began.
The day’s races began with a set of 200-meter Medley relays, where both the women’s team of Jackie Tran PO ’15, Hannah Robertson PO ’15, Maddy DeMeules PO ’14, and Alex Lincoln PO ’14, and the men’s team of Max Scholten PO ’12, Hugh Berryman PO ’15, Tommy DePaoli PO ’13, and Chris Wright PO ’12 took 6th place.
In the 200-meter Freestyle, Vicky Gyorffy PO ’15 and Chrissie Alving-Trinh PO ’15 led the Sagehens for the women, taking 9th and 14th places. Kevin Byrne PO ’15 and Vincent Giannotti PZ ’12 led the men in the 200 Free with 13th and 15th place finishes.
In the 100-meter Backstroke, DeMeules took 14th place, followed closely by Tran in 15th. Division III 100 Backstroke record holder Scholten placed 5th in the event. In the women’s 100-meter Breaststroke, Ali Valdrighi PO ’15 tied for 8th place with Mari Pettibone PZ ’15 in 10th. The freshmen dominated in the men’s 100-meter with Hugh Berryman PO ’15 in 11th and Kevin Lu PO ’15 in 14th.
Despite her shoulder injury, Lincoln took 3rd in the 50-meter Freestyle, and was joined by Morgan Ingemanson PO ’13 in the top ten for the event. Alving-Trinh supported the Sagehens in the women’s 500-meter Freestyle with a 9th place finish, joined by Giannotti’s 8th place finish on the men’s side.
In the 200-meter Butterfly, Kelsey Atkinson PO ’14 and Rebecca Howland PO ’14 gained more points for the Hens with 7th and 11th place finishes. Chris Wright PO ’12 finished 7th, and Tommy DePaoli PO ’13 came from behind in the final lap to beat his closest competitor to 9th place for the men’s 200-meter Butterfly.
Tran and DeMeules again led the Hens in the 200-meter Backstroke, finishing 8th and 12th in the event. Joe Labriola PO ’12 carried the Sagecocks in the 200-meter Backstroke with an 11th place finish. Sam Corfman PO ’13, the lone Sagehen brave enough to swim the 400-meter IM, finished 11th.
In the 100-meter Freestyle, Lincoln again took 3rd and Gyorffy took another top ten finish for the women. In the men’s event, Scholten clocked in 8th and Berryman came in 10th. In the 200-meter Breaststroke, four Sagehens finished within scoring range on the women’s side, led by Pettibone with a shocking 4th place finish and Gailyn Portelance PO ’15 in 9th.
In the 100 Fly, Tran and Valdrighi finished 14th and 15th. DePaoli led the men in 15th. Portelance out-touched a SCIAC competitor to take 9th in the 200 IM. Tyson Chihara PO’12 and Wright took 13th and 14th in the men’s 200 IM to conclude the individual events for the meet.
In the final relays, the Pomona-Pitzer women’s team of Ingemanson, Kristen Lindbergh PO ’12, Gyorffy, and Lincoln took 3rd for the women. The men’s team with Berryman, Wright, Scholten, and Giannotti missed fellow SCIAC competitor and meet host University of Redlands by less than a second to finish 5th in the final event.
The women’s team finished fourth overall, behind the three D-I teams at the meet but ahead of SCIAC rivals Redlands, Whittier, and La Verne, which bodes well for the rest of the season. Redlands has traditionally been one of the top teams in SCIAC for both men and women, indicating that the women have a shot at the SCIAC Championship this year.
The men’s team finished behind Redlands to take 5th overall, ahead of Whittier and La Verne. The men showed that they could compete head-to-head with Redlands throughout the meet in both individual events and relays.
With the experience gained from last weekend’s meet, the Sagehens look forward to the Redlands Pentathlon on Nov. 12 with fresh goals in their minds.