Stevick Shines, CMS Swim Swipes SCIAC Championship

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps swimming and diving team’s
hard-fought races across the four-day SCIAC Championships meet Feb. 19-22 capped off a historic performance. Both the men’s and women’s teams
captured the SCIAC championship to extend their remarkable winning streaks even
further. The Athenas took their 13th consecutive SCIAC
championship, while the Stags won for the eighth time in a row.

“We have a
good mentality of holding each other accountable and working hard during
practice every day,” distance swimmer Lauren Rosenberger CM ’18 said. “It’s a
really supportive environment where you want to work hard to do better for
yourself and for your teammates, too.”

In
particular, the senior class has reason to feel triumphant after completing their
careers without ever losing a SCIAC meet. The men’s and women’s teams compiled
a combined 64-0 dual meet record with eight championships over the last four
years. CMS is the first SCIAC squad to
ever accomplish this feat.

CMS
swimmers delivered impressive performances across all four days of the championship
to secure first place. The extravaganza began with the long distance races Feb.
19, in which Molly Loftus CM ’15’s strong time of 17:25.21 set the tone for the
rest of the meet.

“For
distance races, we train really long in practices to be able to hold a certain
pace for the entire race and stay strong the whole way through, instead of
going out too fast and getting too tired,” Rosenberger said.

CMS
finished strong on the last day of competition by placing first in the women’s
400-yard freestyle relay with a team comprised of Kayla Flaten CM ’17, Lizzie
Carrade CM ’18, LillyBelle Deer CM ’15 and Kelly Ngo CM ’17. The quartet touched the wall first with a
time of 3:30.30, a second ahead of the Pomona-Pitzer squad, who finished
second.

“The team
culture overall, and the way the swim team is like a family, helps us all to
succeed,” Courtney Chan CM ’17 said.

In the diving portion of the meet, CMS tacked on even more points
with the help of an outstanding performance by James Stevick CM ’15, who capped
off an impeccable career by capturing his third straight SCIAC championship
with a meet-record score of 617.75. Stevick also collected
five perfect 10s on his final dive of the meet.

Stevick
revealed that a key to success for him has been listening to head coach Charlie
Griffiths and marshaling his nerves into positive energy.

“Of course, staying in shape and being
flexible is important, but you need to constantly feel safe and confident, and you
need to guide the unavoidable fear into power and finesse,” Stevick said. “Our
coach watches our dives from a completely different perspective, and they know
where your limits are. They can tell you if you are ready for a dive or
not, and trusting that allows you to excel.”

Stevick’s
performance earned him a spot in the NCAA Diving Prelims Feb. 27-28, where he
will have a chance to extend his remarkable season.

“This year my coach really kicked up my degree
of difficulty,” Stevick added. “More than ever I need strength, flexibility and confidence. Luckily adrenaline can drastically improve flexibility
and strength, but this year our team has still focused a lot on leg and ab
strength, so we can jump higher and flip faster. My coach has set my list
of dives to the peak of difficulty without sacrificing too much on my ability
to enter the water straight up and down.”

The 2014-2015 CMS swimming and diving teams had a season for the ages and is sure to be a force next year as well.

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