CMS Dives Into New Season, Eyes Championship Repeat

As
the crowd roars and water splashes, two swimmers are neck and neck as they head
toward the wall. The seconds tick by, and they finally reach the end of their
swim. The suspense increases as all heads turn towards the clock to see who
touched the wall first.

In
the sport of swimming, every second counts. As swimmers come racing through
the water, the length of a fingernail can make a difference. No matter the
distance, every aspect of a race is crucial. The
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Men and Women’s
Swimming and Diving team knows the importance of each second in a race. As one
of the most successful teams in SCIAC, the team is also experienced in getting
to the wall first. 

With
the 2014-2015 season starting soon, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Men and Women’s Swimming and
Diving team is looking to capitalize upon their past success of the 2013-2014
season. Both teams competed at the NCAA Division III national championships, where the Athenas were 13th and the Stags were 7th. 

“The 2013-2014
season was very successful for CMS,” head coach Charlie Griffiths said. “Both Athena and Stag swim and dive teams
won the SCIAC championships after going undefeated in conference dual meets … We had ten women and nine men make the national championships, which was
about as big a group as we’ve ever had.”

Though
the official season has not yet begun for the Stags and Athenas, they
are already in the water practicing.

“There is great
energy in the water at practice, and we’d definitely love
to continue our streak of winning SCIAC dual meets,” Timothy Storer CM ’15 said. “If we do that this year, it
will mean that the current senior class will have never lost a dual meet and
will graduate without losing, which would be really great.”

The
men’s team is geared up
for success with all of their relay swimmers returning, as well as their NCAA
championship qualifiers. Last year’s SCIAC Freshman Athlete of the Year
Matthew Williams CM ’17 is returning to
the team, with lots of support and high expectations from his teammates.

“Matt had an excellent year last year; he set two
conference records in the 100 and 200 yard backstroke and was third in the
NCAA championships in the 100 back,” Storer said.

On
the women’s side, the Athenas
lost four of their 2014 NCAA championship swimmers. However, crucial point
winners are returning for the season. LillyBelle Deer CM ’15 and Emily
McKinnon CM ’17 were SCIAC
champions last year and are expected to be significant contributors to team wins this winter. 

Both
the men and women’s teams are
expecting a great season from all swimmers.

“SCIAC is really
competitive, and winning the conference championships is something we always get
really excited about, and we never take that for granted; we know that there are
a number of really good teams and that it is going to be a competitive battle,” Griffiths said.

As
reigning SCIAC champions, the CMS team is one to look out for in any meet.
Though the other SCIAC teams provide competition, the Stags and Athenas are
looking to continue their winning streak and take advantage of the depth and range of their team’s talent. 

“Our depth in the
freestyle sprint events, the 50 and 100 freestyles, is very very strong this
year, and we are excited to see what we can do in the sprint freestyle relays,” Storer said.

This balance of strengths in the water has been a defining feature of the team and a strong factor in their recent successes. 

“Historically, we’ve
been pretty well balanced, and that’s been a great
strength of our team,” Griffiths said. “It’s hard to create
and duplicate and compete with. What I take greatest pride in is our ability to
excel in the greatest moments.”

The
team has already had two successful showings at pre-season meets. Competing
against the University of California, San Diego, the Stags and Athenas ranked
well on the DIII national scale. In the recent Pomona-Pitzer relay meet, the
team saw some success and was happy to be in the water.

Overall,
the entirety of the team hopes to build upon their momentum from last season and improve their SCIAC and NCAA results this year. 

“At the national
level we hope to do better than we did last year. It’s very competitive
at that level as well, so we definitely need some people to step up in order to
improve upon what we did last year,” Griffiths said.

Look
out for the CMS swimming and diving team in their first meet of the season Dec.
6 against Chapman University. 

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