The Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens made the uphill trek across Sixth Street to take on their arch-rivals the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags and Athenas at Axelrood Pool on on Saturday, Feb. 4. Despite P-P’s exhilarating performances in the 200-meter freestyle and medley relays, the Stags and Athenas came out on top. Both CMS men’s and women’s teams triumphed over P-P, 167-129 and 182-117, respectively.
As the sun ducked in and out behind the clouds, both teams arrived ready to compete. The morning got off to a lively start, as P-P’s women’s team gained crucial momentum with back-to-back wins in the women’s and men’s 200-yard medley relays. But CMS kept its cool, with record-breaking races from Elizabeth Carrade CM ’18 and Ben Culberson CM ’20 in the in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:41.40 and 9:45.96, respectively).
CMS followed with four consecutive wins over the Sagehens. Jocelyn Crawford CM ’20 also broke her own pool record in the 100-yard backstroke. Jackson Crewe HM ’19 had a spectacular performance in the 200-yard freestyle, and Matthew Williams CM ’17 set a pool record in the 200-yard backstroke (1:50.57) and won the 100-yard backstroke, hoping to defend his national championship in the 100-yard backstroke at last year’s NCAA Championships. Tyler Welty CM ’19 then won the 100-yard breaststroke.
Ivy Chen HM ’20 took first in both the 200-yard backstroke and individual medley (2:07.16 and 2:11.08, respectively), and Stephanie Doi CM ’17 finished first in the 100-yard butterfly. Williams, Dave Makhervaks HM ’20, Crewe, and Graham Spurzem CM ’17 triumphed over the Sagehens in the meet’s last event, the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay (3:07.59).
CMS diving also had a strong outing. Kendall Hollimon CM ’20’s score of 372.85 on the three-meter board and 313.85 on the one-meter springboard set a new pool record. Maia Presti SC ’17 also finished first in the one-meter springboard. Later in the afternoon, Carli Lessard HM ’17 added points for CMS with a win in the three-meter.
Ten new pool records were set at the meet, eight of which came from CMS’ side of the pool.
“There was a lot of adrenaline at the meet,” said Claire Bacon-Brenes SC ’20, who set a pool record in the 100-yard breaststroke and moved up to fifth in the CMS Top 10 standings.
CMS’s victory over P-P is the perfect way to close the regular season. The Stags and Athenas can use this boost in momentum to prepare for their next challenge: the SCIAC Championships on Feb. 15-18. The team is looking forward to another exciting SCIAC showing, and is on the hunt for a championship.
In preparation for SCIACs, Bacon-Brenes said, “the training is a little bit less. I’m hoping to feel more well-rested. For me, what I’ve been working on this year has been visualization. There’s been a lot of studies on how visualization can improve your performance.”
“Every year, our coach has a different motto,” Bacon-Brenes said. “This year, our motto is: it matters … everything you do leading up to SCIACs matters.”
There is no doubt that going forward, CMS will continue to follow this motto, work hard, and stay disciplined in their quest to win the conference championships.