CMS Sweeps Redlands on Senior Day

On a picture-perfect day in Claremont, the CMS Athenas and Stags swept the Redlands Bulldogs to complete 7-0 SCIAC dual meet seasons.  The Athenas won 182 to 61 and the Stags topped UR 160 to 83.

CMS won 12 of 13 events in the women's meet, with three triple-winners to the Athenas' credit. Senior Emma Jones won the 200 yard freestyle, the 100 free and anchored the winning 400 free relay.  Michele Kee won the 200 IM, 200 butterfly and led off the "A" 400 free relay.  Helen Liu sprinted to first in the 50 free and paced to victory in the 200 backstroke, after earlier anchoring the winning 400 medley relay.

Joining Liu on the medley relay were Elsa Cheng (back), Ching Tung (breast) and Katie Bilotti (fly).  The 400 free relay consisted of Kee, Ali Fisher, LillyBelle Deer and Jones.

Senior distance specialist Whitney Dawson won the 1650 freestyle and Deer won the 500 free.  Juniors Carmen Lundell and Kelly Chang split the diving honors, with Lundell topping the field in the 1-meter competition and Chang winning the 3-meter springboard.

The Stags produced several eye-popping performances. James Stevick again delivered NCAA qualifying scores on both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving board, blasting pool records in each event.  Stevick's 329.90 on 3-meter topped the previous record of 318.45 and his 326.65 on 1-meter blew out the former mark of 298.35, set in 2006.  "James was on fire today," said CMS diving coach, Jimmy Adams. "He's been increasing his DD and he hit the dives for big scores."

The swimming portion of the meet opened with blistering speed, as three 400 yard medley relay squads broke the Axelrood Pool record in the event.  While the Redlands "A" relay topped CMS's 2010 pool record of 3:31.68 by .48 seconds, the result was only good enough for third place.  The CMS "A" relay of Austin Hallett, Vincent Pai, Jordan Lieberman and Patrick Shultz edged the CMS "B" relay of Blake Weber, Brad Perfect, Marc Blumberg and Devin Bowers 3:28.00 to 3:29.09 for 15 points.

Alex Mendoza and Brett Berger cruised to a one-two finish in the mile, allowing CMS to jump to a 40-15 lead after three events.  Bowers won the 50 free, Blumberg took the 200 butterfly, Hallett held on for first in the 200 backstroke and Devin Nishizaki won the 500 free.

Senior Vincent Pai placed an exclamation point in the final individual event.  Pai broke his own pool record in the 200 breaststroke, slipping under his 2010 time of 2:06.62 with a 2:05.83.  The CMS "A" 400 free relay team of Bowers, Cameron Whiting, Jeff McNerney and Shultz capped the meet with a quick 3:09.05, just off the pool record of 3:08.54.

"Like our entire season, today's success was the result of a full team effort," Coach Griffiths said. "But today was also a celebration of our senior class. Before the meet we honored our nine seniors and then they went out and showed that they're still in their prime."

CMS enters the Championship season over the next few weeks. The divers will travel to the University of Redlands next Saturday and Sunday for SCIAC diving prelims. The finals will take place February 18 at UR.  The SCIAC swimming championships will be held at the South Gate Pool February 19-21.