On the cloudy morning of Saturday, Oct. 29, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps swimming and diving teams piled into vehicles, ready to test their mettle against some heavy competition to the south: the University of California, San Diego.
That afternoon, CMS met its host head to head in the water, with the significantly larger UCSD, ranked No. 9 among Division II schools in the nation, coming out on top. The Tritons’ men’s team beat the Stags 169-111, while the Athenas fell 200-92.
That’s not to say that CMS didn’t perform well, though. For the Stags, Victor Ginelli CM ’18 took first in the 1-meter dive, while Aaron Lutzker HM ’19 snagged second in the 200-yard butterfly and the 200 individual medley.
The Stags’ first-years, competing in their first collegiate meet ever, also showed their ability to race under pressure. In fact, Dave Makhervaks HM ’20 and Henry Limm HM ’20 have already walked onto the program’s top ten — Makhervaks in the 100 backstroke with a time of 51.35 and Limm in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:05.54. The two will claim places at No. 4 and No. 6 all-time in their events, respectively.
Jacob Bain CM ’20 proved his speed in the 50 free, while Sam Willett CM '16 raced hard in the 200 backstroke, both finishing in the top three at the meet.
Meanwhile, the Athenas were led by Stephanie Doi CM ’17 and Kelly Ngo CM ’17. Both seniors helped the 200-yard medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay to second place finishes. Doi went on to grab third in the 100 freestyle; Ngo, on the other hand, was two-tenths of a second away from a first place in the 50 freestyle.
Like the Stags, the Athenas are underclassmen-heavy and their first-years performed exceedingly well for their first meet. Claire Bacon-Brenes SC ’20 knocked on the door of the program’s top ten for the 100 breaststroke, finishing 22 hundredths off of the tenth-fastest time in Athena history. She, along with Jocelyn Crawford CM ’20, swam with Doi and Ngo in the second-place 200 medley relay.
Throughout the meet, CMS was primarily focused on challenging themselves and getting ready for conference meets.
Up next for the Stags and Athenas is their annual alumni meet, followed by their first SCIAC meet against Occidental College. The men are looking to win their tenth consecutive SCIAC championship under Coach Charlie Griffiths. The women will look to avenge the end of their thirteen-year conference title streak, which they gave up last year to the hands of the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens.