TIGERS HANDLE LEWIS AND CLARK, EARN FIRST DUAL-MEET WINBy Michael Wells Sports Information Director
LOS ANGELES — Zachary Condon (Newbury Park), Steven Van Deventer (Naperville, Ill.), Ben Sullivan (La Canada) and Stephen Ratkovich (Castle Rock, Col.) all notched multiple wins and swam a leg on the winning 200 yard medley relay team, leading the Occidental College men's swimming and diving team to it's first win of the season, a 164-96 victory over Lewis and Clark College in a swim-only, non-conference meet on Monday.
Van Deventer placed first in all of his individual swims along with the relay, taking the 100 yard breaststroke (1 minute, 1.32 seconds), the 100 individual medley (56.88) and the 50 breast (28.04)]. Condon finished first in the 100 backstroke (57.42) and the 200 freestyle (1:51.70); Sullivan won the 100 butterfly (56.8) and the 50 fly (25.96); Ratkovich picked up the 100 free (50.11) and led off thed winning 200 free relay.
Monday's meet marked the first time since the Orange County Invitational on Nov. 19, 2011 that the men's swimmers did not start facing an uphill points battle. The Tigers do not have divers competing this year, putting them at a disadvantage in most meets.
Against Lewis and Clark, they showed what they can do on an even playing field.
"I think it takes a lot of pressure off of us now that we finally have a win under our belt," Occidental coach Shea Manning said. "The meet was closer than the score indicates, but we managed to get our hands to the wall first time after time and it was a great day of racing. I know all of our guys are really stoked to finally get the win."
Ratkovich, who went winless in a loss to the University of La Verne on Saturday, in particular came out with a chip on his shoulder on Monday, trying to shake off the disappointing performance, according to Manning.
"Stephen Ratkovich was bummed about his performance on Saturday and so he came in refocused and with something to prove to himself," Manning said. "I think he really did well with that."
Sullivan missed Saturday's meet entirely due to a fire school commitment.
"Obviously we didn't have Ben on Saturday," Manning said. "He didn't have that experience so for him to come in and win the 50 fly was great."
Oxy faces Whittier in a SCIAC dual meet starting this Friday with diving at the Rose Bowl at 2 p.m., then the swimming on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Taylor Pool.