Saturday, Nov. 7, proved to be a good day to be a Sagehen, especially for Samuel To PO ’18 and Angela Ling PO ’19, who were both instrumental in leading the men and women's Pomona-Pitzer swimming and diving teams in wins over Concordia University Irvine. P-P men’s freestyle swimmer Ryan Franzese PO ’19 said To in particular stood out for his effort in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
“[The] 400 freestyle relay was the most competitive relay,” Franzese said. “Concordia put their two best sprinters in the first two spots of the relay, so they were ahead for the majority of the race.”
It seemed like a certain victory for Concordia when To—the fourth leg of the relay for the Sagehens—dove in approximately three seconds behind Concordia's anchor. He was about a body length behind when he began swimming.
“[To] pulled ahead at the last 25 [yards] of the 100 and went an astonishing 46.1 [second] split, which is crazy fast,” Franzese added.
For her part, Ling had a record-breaking performance for the P-P women’s swimming and diving team. She helped set a Haldeman Pool record with Mackenzie Cummings PO '19, Sarah Jin PO '19 and Maddie Kauahi PO '19 as part of the 400 medley relay team, which clocked in at a time of 4:00.84. She finished her impressive afternoon with an individual Haldeman pool record in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:07.52
With modesty, Ling contributed her success to the leadership and positivity of the team.
“I was incredibly happy to do it,” Ling said. “A big thing for us has been a positive attitude, [which] wasn’t something I had on my own home team. But it has made a big impact in how we approach meets and practices.”
However, Ling and To were just part of the story. Overall, the men’s team won seven of eleven events on Saturday en route to a 128-71 victory, while the women took eight events and won 149-72.
Due to their early-season success, both P-P swimming and diving teams earned Division III national rankings. In the first coaches poll of the 2015-2016 season, the men’s team was ranked No. 17 overall, while the women’s team was ranked No. 9. Emory University in Georgia sits atop the women’s poll nationally, while Kenyon College in Ohio is the No. 1 men’s team. Rankings are based off of performances since the previous coaches poll, as well as dual meets and invites. Both teams have high hopes for continued success in the season.
“This season, we're hoping to place highly at SCIACs and beat CMS,” Franzese said.
Despite the excellent results from both teams so far, the next meet against California Baptist University this Saturday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. will provide another challenge for the Sagehens. Cal Baptist is a highly-ranked DII school and previously topped both Sagehen swimming and diving teams earlier in the season at the P-P Relays on Saturday, Oct. 31.
“It’s going to be very competitive and tough this weekend,” said Ling. “But I think we’re ready for them.”