CLAREMONT, Calif. - Over the next four days the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) will hold the men's and women's swimming and diving 2017-18 conference championships at the Brenda Villa Aquatic Center in Commerce, Calif. The Stags and Athenas will go toe-to-toe with the rest of the SCIAC.
Both the men's and women's championships look to be tight contests, with the Stags and Athenas facing stiff challenges from the other eight SCIAC schools, but in particular from the Sagehens on the other side of Sixth Street.
See below for a quick preview of the Championships:
How the Stags Got Here
The Stags enter the SCIAC Conference Championships as the defending Champion and are currently ranked as the No. 11 team in the country. CMS posted a dual meet record of 9-2 this season including a perfect 8-0 mark against SCIAC foes this season.
The Stags toughest dual came in the beginning of December against Pomona-Pitzer. CMS won a close battle across the two-day meet 191-161, handing Pomona-Pitzer their only conference loss of the season.
As has been the norm in Axelrood Pool over the last decade of dominating the SCIAC, the Stags one again feature a deep and talented roster. After sweeping the diving competions a year ago, Kendall Hollimon (CMC) leads the Stags at both the one and three meter diving events. Earlier this season, he set a pool record at Pomona-Pitzer's Haldeman Pool with a score of 268.20 in the one-meter event.
Henry Limm (HMC) has also had a stellar season for CMS. The sophomore broke his own pool record in Axelrood Pool on Nov. 18 with a 4:05.88 time in the 400 IM. The Stags return a total of eight All-SCIAC performers from a year ago to this year's roster. Limm and Hollimon, Ben Culberson (CMC), Aaron Lutzker, and Sam Willett (CMC) all earned multiple All-Conference honors last season.
Just like last year, expect the meet to come down to the final day between CMS and Pomona-Pitzer.
How the Athenas Got Here
The No. 16 Athenas went 9-3 in duals this season, including a 7-1 mark against the SCIAC this season. Their only SCIAC defeat came at the beginning of December against the Sagehens on Dec. 1-2. It was a tight battle, but Pomona-Pitzer edged the Athenas 192-161.
Sophomore Claire Bacon-Brenes (SC) had a strong second season in Claremont, breaking the Axelrood Pool records in both the 100 and 200 Breast on Jan. 27 against Loyola Marymount. She finished the 100 Breast in a time of 1:04.85, winning the event by over four seconds. Later in the day, she then set the pool record in the 200 Breast with a time of 2:21.91.
Overall, CMS returns eight Athenas that earned individual All-SCIAC honors last season including Bacon-Brenes, Elizabeth Carrade (CMC), Ivy Chen (HMC), Jocelyn Crawford (CMC), and Lauren Rosenberger (CMC) who all earned multiple All-Conference honors. In addition to the individual strength of the Athenas, CMS took the top spot in all five relays at the Conference Championships last season and the vast majority of those relays are back including all four members from the 200 Free Relay and 800 Free Relay.
Much like the men's side, look for an all Claremont Colleges battle on the women's side. CMS and Pomona-Pitzer will be a heavyweight fight across all four days of the Championships to decide on which side of Sixth Street the SCIAC Championship lands.
Returning All-Conference - Stags
200 Medley Relay (Dave Makhervaks (HMC), Aaron Lutzker (HMC), Jackson Crewe (HMC), Graham Spurzmen* (CMC)) - Second Team - 1:31.98
800 Medley Relay (Matthew Williams* (CMC), Ben Culberson (CMC), Grant Murray (HMC), Jackson Crewe) - First Team - 6:43.23
200 Free Relay (Matthew Williams*, Dave Makhervaks, Grant Murray, Graham Spurzem*) - Third Team - 1:24.21
400 Medley Relay (Dave Makhervaks, Tyler Welty, Matthew Williams*, Graham Spurzem*) - First Team - 3:20.75
400 Free Relay (Matthew Williams*, Dave Makhervaks, Jackson Crewe, Graham Spurzem*) - Third Team - 3:04.22
Jackson Crewe - Third Team - 200 Free - 1:41.49
Ben Culberson (CMC) - First Team - 500 Free - 4:28.89
Ben Culberson - Second Team - 200 Free - 1:41.35
Ben Culberson - Second Team - 1650 Free - 15:33.89
John Everett (CMC) - First Team - 200 Fly - 1:50.491
Kendall Hollimon (CMC) - First Team - Three Meter Diving - 6:11.20
Kendall Hollimon - First Team - One Meter Diving - 594.05
Henry Limm (HMC) - First Team - 400 IM - 3:59.39
Henry Limm - Second Team - 200 Breast - 2:04.15
Aaron Lutzker - First Team - 200 IM - 1:51.24
Aaron Lutzker - Third Team - 200 Fly - 1:51.71
Tyler Welty (CMC) - Second Team - 100 Breast - 56.59
Sam Willett (CMC) - Third Team - 200 IM - 1:51.59
Sam Willett - Third Team - 200 Back - 1:51.25
Returning All-Conference - Athenas
200 Medley Relay (Kelly Ngo* (CMC), Claire Bacon-Brenes (SC), Stephanie Doi* (CMC), Jocelyn Crawford) - First Team - 1:43.88
800 Free Relay (Lauren Rosenberger, Riley Hoffman (CMC), Emma Stacy (SC), Elizabeth Carrade)- First Team - 7:37.09
200 Free Relay (Riley Hoffman, Elizabeth Carrade, Anastasia Ibrahim (CMC), Madison Blumer (SC)) - First Team - 1:34.99
400 Medley Relay (Jocelyn Crawford, Claire Bacon-Brenes, Stephanie Doi*, Kelly Ngo*) - First Team - 3:48.42
400 Free Relay (Kelly Ngo*, Stephanie Doi*, Emma Stacy, Jocelyn Crawford) - First Team - 3:29.18
Claire Bacon-Brenes - First Team - 100 Breast - 1:03.51
Claire Bacon-Brenes - First Team - 200 Breast - 2:19.06
Elizabeth Carrade - First Team - 500 Free - 5:09.44
Elizabeth Carrade - First Team - 1650 Free - 17:09.26
Ivy Chen (HMC) - First Team - 200 Back - 2:03.73
Ivy Chen - Second Team - 400 IM - 4:30.77
Ivy Chen - Third Team - 200 IM - 2:08.25
Jocelyn Crawford - First Team - 50 Free - 23.34
Jocelyn Crawford - First Team - 100 Back - 55.71
Jocelyn Crawford - 100 Free - 51.24
Bryn Edwards - Second Team - 100 Breast - 1:04.16
Maia Presti (SC) - First Team - One Meter Diving - 504.35
Lauren Rosenberger - Second Team - 500 Free - 5:04.60
Lauren Rosenberger - Second Team - 1650 Free - 17:36.66
Shannon Steele (CMC) - Third Team - 500 Free - 5:06.43
Stags Conference Championship History
Last year it came down to the final relay, but the Stags pulled off an eight-point victory over second-place Pomona-Pitzer to claim their 10th-straight SCIAC Title. CMS claimed 1030 points at the SCIAC Championships last season, just edging the Sagehens' 1022 points. The 2017 Conference title was the 37th overall Title for the Stags in program history.
Athenas Conference Championship History
The Athenas have won 14 of the last 15 SCIAC Championships dating back to 2003 and a total of 18 conference titles in program history. The Athenas' streak of 13-straight conference titles was snapped in 2016, but CMS got back to their winning ways last season when they claimed the SCIAC Title by nearly 300 points over second-place Pomona-Pitzer. The Athenas scored 1289 points vs. 993 points from the Sagehens.