WHITTIER — The Occidental Men's and Women's swim teams traveled to Whittier for what turned out to be one of the their closest and most competitive meets of the season.
Led by three first-place finishes from Caroline Chang, the women eked out a 151 - 145 victory over the Poets. In addition to comfortably winning the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, Chang displayed impressive come-from-behind speed in the freestyle leg of the 200 IM -- the second to last event in the meet schedule -- to out-touch her closest opponent and secure the win for the Tigers.
Jessica Robson remained undefeated in diving by claiming the 1 and 3 meter events while Juliet Suess swam a season best time to capture the 200 freestyle. Other women's highlights included Rose Seabrook winning the1650 in a season best (and the #4 performance in Oxy history) and 500 freestyle, and Talia Marcopoto claiming victory in the 100 and 200 backstroke (#8 and #6 in Oxy history, respectively).
With several members of the men's team absent from the meet due to illness and injury, the Tigers were defeated by the Poets195-96. Alexander Najarian led the way by winning the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly while Kevin Kuwata (200 breaststroke) and Will Westwater (200 backstroke) won their respective events is season best times. Freshman David Avery swam a strong second half of his 200 backstroke race to place second, also in a season best time.
And in his first meet for Occidental, diver Aaron Hammer placed 3rd on 1 meter and 2nd on 3 meter to add to the improving men's squad.
Occidental will host Cal Lutheran on Feb. 1 in what will be their last home meet for the season.