P-P Swim And Dive Teams Make Waves On Senior Day, Dominate CalTech and Cal Lutheran


A group of swimmers poses with flowers
The Pomona-Pitzer swim and dive seniors pose for a photo Feb. 3. (Thummim Mekuria • The Student Life)

Saturday was Senior Day for the Pomona-Pitzer men’s and women’s swim and dive teams, who faced off against Cal Lutheran and the California Institute of Technology.

P-P’s men (7-1) and women (8-0) both enjoyed large victories over their opponents, as the men won 12 of 17 events and the women won 13 of 16. With the SCIAC championship approaching, the women’s team sits atop of the conference and the men’s team is second.

The women’s team was particularly dominant on their way to capping an undefeated regular season, beating CLU 205-89 and CalTech 228-47.

Emma van der Veen PO ’21 and Anna Newman PO ’21 made a big difference over the weekend, winning two individual events each.

Van der Veen started the scoring early for the Sagehens by winning the 3-meter diving event handily, and then the 1-meter event later in the day.

Newman’s versatility was on display as she first edged out fellow Sagehen Katherine Lauerman PO ’20 in the 1,650-yard freestyle event and then won the 200-yard backstroke.

On the men’s side, the Sagehens beat CLU 184-97 and CalTech 216-64. On the diving board, Billy Altantulkhuur PO ’21 continued a successful season, winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. Lukas Menkhoff PO ’21 dominated in the water, setting pool records in the 50-yard freestyle and his opening leg of the 400-meter freestyle relay.

Mark Hallman PO ’18 and Samuel To PO ’18 had strong showings for the Sagehens as well. Hallman won both the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, while To took home first in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley.

Despite his successful day, Hallman described the meet as bittersweet.

“I always like swimming well in our home pool, but there’s a definite sense of finality to it all,” Hallman said. “I’m sad I’ll never get to swim that well at Haldeman again.”

Before the meet, the team took time to honor its 12 graduating seniors: Manon Audebert PO ’18, Alex Seidel PO ’18, Victoria Vanderpoel PO ’18,  Molly Weinstock PO ’18, Spencer Satz PO ’18, Kyle Allison PO ’18, Robert Buxton PO ’18,  Peter Hansen PZ ’18, and Alexander Landau PZ ’18, as well as Hallman and To.

The seniors on the team were emotional about completing their last home meet, but appreciative of what they’ve gained from swimming for P-P.

“I am so unbelievably lucky to have been apart of PPSD. I have met my best friends on this swim team, and we have gotten through some very tough times together,” Vanderpoel said. “I will probably swim for the rest of my life thanks to my time here. This team is extremely close and special to me.”

The sentiment was echoed by other members of the team.

“Over the past four years, the people on PPSD have been more than just teammates — they are mentors, class advisors, meal companions, and most importantly some of my closest friends. I can’t imagine my time at Pomona without PPSD,” Seidel said.

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