The CMS Stags and Athenas capped an undefeated SCIAC dual meet season by setting 11 pool records at Pomona-Pitzer's Haldemann Pool on Saturday. The Stags won the meet 211-86 with the Athenas topping the Sagehens 197-103.
"Today's meet ranks among the fastest dual meets in SCIAC history," said CMS Head Coach Charlie Griffiths. "Give credit to both squads for creating an electric environment and responding with impressive performances."
The meet opened with the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions. CMS swept 1-2-3 on three of the boards, with a 1-2 finish in the women's 1-meter event. James Stevick scored NCAA qualifying marks on both boards, tallying 311.95 on 3-meter and 322.05 on 1-meter. For the Athenas, Carli Lessard won the 1-meter competition, with Mary Lynn Clark earning her first collegiate victory, topping the 3-meter field.
The Stag and Athena 200 medley relays started the swimming portion of the meet with wins. Matt Williams, Zach Alleva, Patrick Shultz and Joey Hinton set a pool record with a 1:33.70 for the Stags, while the Athena "senior" relay of Erin MacLean, Michele Kee, Annika Jessen and Helen Liu overcame an early deficit to win in 1:48.75.
Three CMS swimmers finished under pool record time in the 1000 yard freestyle. Alex Mendoza set a new men's mark at 9:54.94. Louisa Dunwiddie and Molly Loftus both touched under the previous women's record. Loftus was the winner in 10:37.69. Cameron Whiting led a CMS 1-2 finish in the men's 200 free, setting a pool record with a time of 1:43.28.
Matt Williams established a CMS varsity record in the 100 yard backstroke, beating his own mark from earlier this season. Williams's 49.54 is well under the NCAA B-cut standard and a mere .10 off of the SCIAC record, in addition to being a new pool record. Fellow frosh, Kelly Ngo set a pool record of her own, clocking in at 59.01 in the women's 100 back.
Additional pool records were set by Marc Blumberg in the 200 butterfly (1:54.42), Michele Kee in the 100 freestyle (52.54), Williams in the 200 backstroke (1:52.50), Emily McKinnon in the 200 breaststroke (2:26.48) and Annika Jessen in the 100 fly (57.91).
Double winners abounded for CMS. Jessen also won the 200 butterfly and Ngo won the 200 back. Loftus and Mendoza each completed the distance double by winning their 500 freestyle races on top of their wins in the 1000. Michele Kee added a gold in the 200 IM and Alex Poltash won the 50 and 100 yard freestyle sprints.
CMS also tallied victories by Kayla Flaten (100 breast), Helen Liu (50 free), Joey Hinton (100 free) and Conrad Shabb (200 IM). All told, CMS won 26 of the day's 32 events. "Based on our practice performances, I thought we set ourselves up for quality swims today...and the team came through" Coach Griffiths said.
"Still, today was just a stepping stone. Our goal is to peak during the championship season...at SCIACs and NCAAs," Griffiths continued. "The Stags and Athenas have trained well throughout the season, so the swimmers have earned their taper. I'm excited to see our unified enthusiasm for every upcoming swim and dive at SCIACs."
The Stags and Athenas have next weekend off, as they prepare for the SCIAC Championships, slated to be held at the Brenda Villa Aquatic Center in Commerce, Thursday-Sunday, February 20-23. The Athenas and Stags will enter the meet with 8-0 SCIAC dual meet records and have the opportunity to earn the overall SCIAC title by winning the four-day championship meet.
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