The CMS Stag and Athena swimmers hosted the University of Puget Sound November 16-17, in the two-day, 34-event, "West Coast Challenge." The Athenas chopped down the Loggers 184 to 124, while the Stags won 203 to 99.
The Stags lit up the Axelrood Pool scoreboard with five swims under pool-record time. Sophomore Alex Mendoza set the tone early, racing to a 9:50.20 split in the first 1000 of his 1650 yard freestyle on Friday. Mendoza's new 1000 mark bested the previous record of 9:54.90, set in 1997 by UC-San Diego's Tim McAter. Mendoza stayed strong through the final 650 to finish in 16:19.60 for a second record in one swim. The previous mile mark of 16:31.46 was set earlier this year by fellow Stag, Brett Berger. Berger, the 2012 SCIAC champion in the 1650, placed second in the event with a strong 16:35.03.
Mendoza gained another pool record on Saturday, this time in the 500 yard freestyle. Mendoza (4:43.80), narrowly out-touched teammate Marc Blumberg (4:43.97) nipping the previous record of 4:44.59. Another record was set by the 200 yard freestyle relay team of Devin Bowers, Patrick Shultz, Cameron Whiting and Joey Hinton, whose time of 1:26.17 beat the record (1:26.91) set by the Stag team in 1999. The final pool record was set by the Stag 200 yard medley relay team of Blake Weber, Brad Perfect, Shultz and Bowers. The quartet's time of 1:35.16 blew-out California Baptist's 1:37.78, set in 2004.
"The guys put together a string of quick mid-season times this weekend," said CMS Head Coach, Charlie Griffiths. "We've established great synergy in training. We're seeing swimmers pushing each other to step-up in workouts and now we're beginning to see that culture pay off in meets."
The Athenas were led by sophomore Mackenzie Leake, who was a double winner on Saturday, taking first in the 400 IM and then the 200 butterfly. Other individual winners over the weekend were LillyBelle Deer (1650 freestyle) and Kristie Howard (50 freestyle). Five first-year Athenas earned their first college-event-victories: Maya Kale (200 IM), Jazzi Cooper (100 butterfly), Bridget Moran (500 freestyle), Rachelle Holmgren (100 freestyle) and Maddy Gebhard (100 breaststroke). "The meet was an exciting opportunity for the freshman Athenas to establish their presence," Coach Griffiths said. "As each swimmer continues to adapt to college life and the CMS training program, we'll expect to see continued development throughout the season and their careers."
The Stags gained additional individual event wins from Patrick Shultz (200 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Marc Blumberg (100 butterfly and 200 butterfly), Tim Storer (200 IM), Blake Weber (200 backstroke), Augie Bress (200 breaststroke), Joey Hinton (50 freestyle), Matt Valentine (400 IM), Jordan Lieberman (100 backstroke) and Judge Lee (100 breaststroke).
CMS won each of the eight relays contested between the men and women.
Griffiths said, "I told the team after the meet that fast times and pool record in November are nice, but our goal this season is to Finish Strong. Good days or bad days right now don't mean much. We're committed to preparing for top tier performances when it matters most."
CMS swimming and diving will open SCIAC competition with a double-dual meet versus Cal Tech and Whittier at Whittier on Saturday, December 1. Diving will begin at 10:00 a.m., with swimming slated to start at 11:00 a.m.