The CMS Stags and Athenas opened the 2013-14 swimming and diving season on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at UC San Diego. Despite finishing on the short end on the scoreboard in both men's (126-174) and women's (107-191) meets, the Stags and Athenas posted several strong performances.
The Stags opened the meet with a blistering 200 yard medley relay time of 1:34.34. The team of Matthew Williams, Zach Alleva, Patrick Shultz and Joey Hinton out-touched UCSD by .02 seconds in the race. The Stags' time is the eighth fastest in CMS history and currently ranks second in NCAA Division III in that event. Junior Alex Mendoza then paced his way to first place in the 1000 yard freestyle, coming in at 9:50.76. The Stags nearly made it three for three, as Cameron Whiting came with .47 seconds of winning the 200 yard freestyle.
CMS added two more victories on the day. Hinton surged home in the 100 yard freestyle to take the event in 47.73 and Williams continued his strong showing in backstroke races, negative splitting the 200 to a time of 1:55.35. NCAA D-III All-American Diver James Stevick placed second on both boards and easily surpassed the national qualifying scores, taking the first step toward NCAA qualification. Other event runner-up finishes came from Marc Blumberg in the 200 butterfly, Mendoza in the 500 freestyle, Shultz in the 100 butterfly and the 400 yard freestyle relay team of Williams, Hinton, Shultz and Graham Spurzem.
"The Stags love to race," said CMS Head Coach, Charlie Griffiths. "We enjoy opening the season at UCSD because we know we'll be tested all day long. After a month of practice, it's great to amp up the competitive juices and get after it."
For the Athenas, first-year diver Carli Lessard took second place in the 3-meter competition. Molly Loftus, earned a spot on the CMS all-time top 10 list with a time of 10:51.28 in the 1000 yard freestyle, as did seniors Erin MacLean and Helen Liu, who both posted Top 10 times in the 50 yard backstroke during the lead-off legs of their respective 200 yard medley relays. Additional top three finishes came from MacLean in the 100 backstroke, Michele Kee in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM, Mackenzie Leake in the 200 fly, Maia Presti in 1-meter diving, Natalie Green in the 200 backstroke and Kelly Ngo in the 200 breaststroke.
"We had fun today," Griffiths said. "As with any early-season meet, we learned a few things and will build on the performances. You can see the motivation in the Athena senior class and how their expectations for success are filtering into the rest of the team."
CMS will be back in action on Saturday, November 2 at the Whittier College relays.