REDLANDS, Calif. — The Occidental men's and women's swim teams broke the surface for the first time this season on Saturday with a strong early season effort at the Redlands Pentathlon.

The season opening competition featured host school University of Redlands, along with Whittier College, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Chapman University, University of La Verne, SOKA University, and Biola University; as well as the Tigers.

The meet pit individuals from each school against each other in five events with swimmers from each team racing in the 100 yard butterfly, backstroke, breastroke, freestyle, and individual medley. 

For Occidental, the competition enabled swimmers to gain some early season experience while developing their racing plan for future conference meets. 

"We have been training very aggressively, especially across the past two weeks." Occidental coach Shea Manning said.  "With that, the big theme this week in our preparation was in taking whatever the clock said at the end with a grain of salt."

The Tigers put up some notable efforts on the day. 

Mallory Ryan (San Mateo, CA) finished 10th over all on the women's side, out of over 100 participants.  The senior took third in the 100 fly event.  Defending SCIAC breastroke championCaroline Chang (Lisle, IL) took 15th over all with a 6th place finish in the 100 breast, while freshman Emily Watkins (Palo Alto, CA) finished 2nd in the 100 Breast.

For the men, Steven van Deventer (Naperville, IL) took 15th overall out of over 80 competitors.  The freshman standout highlighted the day with a second place finish in the 100 yard breakstroke.

The Oxy divers will hit the pool for their first competition next Nov. 19  at the Redlands Diving Invite. The swimmers will also be in action next Saturday with a duel meet at the William Woollette Aquatic Center in Irvine, matched up with Concordia University.