Preparing for their last race in Greensboro, N.C., the Pomona-Pitzer women’s 200-yard medley relay team huddled together for their last cheer of the season. Sarah Jin PO ’19, Angela Ling PO ’19, Mackenzie Cummings PO ’19, and Maddie Kauahi PZ ’19 were nervous but ready: After over five months of training, they had made it to the national championships and were ranked eighth coming into the race.
“We ended up moving up two spots from our seed and placing sixth,” recalled Ling, who mentioned the relay cheer as her favorite part of the meet. Ling also swam later in the 100-yard backstroke, where she placed 13th, and in the 200-yard backstroke, and placed 16th, earning two All-American Honorable Mentions for those individual performances.
“I felt very excited because it was my last race at NCAA and I wanted to redeem myself from SCIACs since I didn't do as well as I had wanted to,” she said. “I felt powerful in the water throughout the race. When I touched at the end, I felt confident that I did well, but had no clue I went a best time. I went into the meet with the slowest time in the event so I was in awe that I made top 16.”
Ling was not the only one who met with success in the four-day meet: Her teammate Maddie Kauahi also earned an All-American Honorable Mention for placing 14th in the 50-yard freestyle. The women Hens ended with a national place of 17th.
On the men’s side, Mark Hallman PO ’17 swam to 20th place in the 100-yard freestyle and helped the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay team to a 17th place finish. Adrian Hui PO ’19, Phillip Clayman PO ’16, and Samuel To PO ’18 also contributed to the relay’s 3:03.27 time.
For Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, there were several notable performances, the most notable being Matthew Williams CM ’18, who won the national Division III title for the 100-yard backstroke. In doing so, he broke a conference and program record with a time of 47.57. Williams also came close to winning the 200-yard backstroke, coming in second by one-one hundredth of a second.
The men’s 400 free relay, composed of Williams, Joseph Hinton CM ’16, Matthew Valentine HM ’16, and Noah Deer CM ’18 splashed into 15th place, helping the Stags to a 10th place finish overall.
Kelly Ngo finished 17th in the 100-yard freestyle for the Athenas.
At the end of the day, the teams from both north and south of Sixth Street made a statement at the national championships: the 5Cs are no wishy-washy competitors.