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South Gate, Calif. – Defending champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps took the early lead on the first day of the SCIAC Swimming and Diving Championships at South Gate Pool, with Redlands putting up a serious challenge on the men's side, thanks to a record-shattering performance in the 400-yard medley relay in the final event of the day.
After the first of three days, CMS leads on the men's side by just 247-241 over Redlands. On the women's side, the Athenas have a more comfortable 305-200 advantage.
Here are recaps from each of the day's competitions, which is hosted by Pomona-Pitzer:
Women's 200 Freestyle Relay: Claremont-Mudd Scripps finished in 1:35.05 to take first place convincingly, with Helen Liu (Bellevue, Wash.), Emma Jones (Eugene, Ore.), Kate Bilotti (Orinda, Calif.), and Michelle Kee (Diamond, Calif.) touching the wall three seconds ahead of the closest competition. The battle for second place came right down to the final stroke, as Pomona-Pitzer edged out Redlands by five-hundredths of a second (1:38.24 to 1:38.29).
Men's 200 Freestyle Relay: Claremont-Mudd Scripps made it two-for-two in the 200 free relays by edging out Pomona-Pitzer. The Stags team of Devin Bowers (Sterling, Va.), Austin Hallett (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), Jeff McNerney (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) and Patrick Shultz (Los Gatos, Calif.) touched the wall in 1:24.31, a half-second ahead of the Sagehens in 1:24.82. Redlands came in third to complete the order the same as the women's relay.
Women's 500 Freestyle: Margo Macready (Redlands, Calif.) of Redlands broke open a tight race over the final laps to win in a time of 5:04.39. LillyBelle Deer (Honolulu, Hawaii) of CMS came in second with a time of 5:05.67 and Erin Bartholomew (Midlothian, Va.) was third in 5:06.26.
Men's 500 Freestyle: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps had a clean sweep of the top three spots in the 500 free, with Marc Blumberg (Davis, Calif.) coming in first with a time of 4:36.97. Cameron Whiting (Renton, Wash.) was second for the Stags, while Brett Berger (Lincoln, Calif.) finished third.
Women's 200 IM: Michele Kee (Diamond, Calif.) of CMS earned an NCAA "B" cut with a time of 2:05.71, which was one-tenth of a second off her own meet record, set last year. Caroline Chang (Lisle, Ill.) of Occidental came in second at 2:09.71, followed by Haley Thiltgen (San Diego, Calif.) of Redlands in 2:11.12.
Men's 200 IM: Collin Gladys (Yorba Linda, Calif.) of Redlands, a former national champion in the event, came in first in a time of 1:50.95, emerging with a full-body length lead in the breaststroke (third) leg. Once Gladys pulled ahead, the intriguing race was for second place between Jeff Depew (Naperville, Ill.) and Christopher Depew (Naperville, Ill.) of Redlands. Christopher defeated his brother by one-hundredth of a second (1:51.99 to 1:52.00) to give the Bulldogs a sweep of the top three spots.
Women's 50 Freestyle: Freshman Chandra Lukes (Escondido, Calif.) was the surprise winner of the day after finishing seventh in the morning preliminaries, touching the wall in 23.74 to earn an NCAA "B" cut, winning the race from one of the two outside lanes. Liu and Bilotti were second and third for CMS after combing on the freestyle relay win earlier in the day.
Men's 50 Freestyle: Senior Tyler Harp (San Bernardino, Calif.) of Redlands won for the third year in a row in a very competitive race, with a time of 20.85. Max Scholten (Boulder, Colo.) of Pomona-Pitzer was second for the third year in a row with a time of 21.04, while Patrick Schultz (Los Gatos, Calif.) of CMS was third in a time of 21.09.
Women's 400 Medley Relay: The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team of Elsa Cheng (Cupertino, Calif.), Jones, Bilotti and Kee had no trouble, winning by half a pool length in 3:50.36. The battle for second saw Pomona-Pitzer's Alex Lincoln (Palo Alto, Calif.) make up a huge gap on the final (freestyle leg) to catch Occidental and help the Sagehens finish second in 3:59.51, edging Redlands (3:59.75) in third place.
Men's 400 Medley Relay: Arguably the top performance of the day came from the Redlands 400-yard medley relay team, which finished in 3:21.25, breaking the SCIAC record by over two seconds (set by CMS last year) and the meet record set two years ago by Redlands by over four seconds. The team consisted of Jeff Depew in the backstroke, Gladys in the breaststroke, Christopher Depew in the butterfly and Harp in the freestyle. CMS also earned an NCAA "B" cut with a 3:24.69, but was three seconds behind the winning Bulldogs. La Verne came in third at 3:31.48.
Team scores after the first day are as follows:
Cal Lutheran 97
La Verne 33
Cal Lutheran 127
La Verne 104
The second day of the SCIAC Swimming Championships takes place tomorrow, with events including the 400-yard individual medley, the 200-yard freestyle, and 100-yard races in the butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke.