Swimming Edges Whittier in SCIAC Opener

Swimming Edges Whittier in SCIAC Opener

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Claremont, Calif. – Freshman Kevin Byrne pulled out two narrow wins, as the final leg in the 400-yard medley relay and in the 200-yard freestyle, to help the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Swimming team to a 125-112 win over Whittier on Friday at Haldeman Pool.

The win was the SCIAC opener for both teams and the first home event for the Sagehens of the year. (pictured: Byrne celebrating his win in the 200-yard freestyle).

The meet came down to the final event to determine the winner, as Pomona-Pitzer held just a 112-108 lead going into the freestyle relay. However, the Sagehens 'A' relay team won by a comfortable margin to eliminate the drama.

Byrne just edged out the Poets in the medley relay in the first men's event of the day, as he touched the wall in a time of 3:40.75, beating the Poets' team by less than a half-second (.37).  

Byrne then picked up a key win in the 200-yard freestyle, as he finished with a time of 1:51.04, defeating Whittier's Cameron Rehm by just .53 to pick up nine key points for the Sagehens.

Tommy DePaoli and Chris Wright helped Pomona-Pitzer's cause by finishing 1-2 for the Sagehens in the 200-yard butterfly, with DePaoli clocking a time of 2:01.17 and Wright coming in at 2:05.91. Returning All-American Max Scholten added an easy win in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing 10 seconds ahead of the second-place competitor with a 1:55.62.

Those wins helped the Sagehens pull from behind after trailing early to tie the overall match at 75-75, and then Joe LaBriola helped give Pomona-Pitzer the lead for good by coming in first in the 500-yard freestyle just in front of the 5-minute mark (4:59.20).

After Whittier won the 200-yard breastroke, Pomona-Pitzer held just a four-point lead heading into the last relay, but the Sagehens won by six seconds to secure the meet, as LaBriola, Hugh Berryman, Brian Williamson and Scholten clocked a time of 3:15.66, six seconds ahead of the Whittier 'A' team.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action tomorrow for a road meet at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, beginning at 10:30 a.m.