LOS ANGELES – It is never easy to come back from a 20-plus point deficit – in any sport – but the Occidental men's and women's swimming and diving teams did just that against Cal Lutheran on Senior Day at Taylor Pool.
Friday's diving event took place at Cal Lu's pool, giving the women's team a lead of 25 points. The relay team of Madeleine Kaczmarowski, Ellie O'Brien, Lianne McKinney, and Zoe Namba were the first to knock down the lead, grabbing a first place finish in the 400 medley relay with a time of 4:15.68.
The men's team – battling back from a 22 point deficit – also took home first place in the 400 medley with William Westwater, Matt Weiser, Ben Sappey, and Sean Sullivan touching the wall first in a time of 3:41.13.
Kaczmarowski would continue to shave points off the lead with a first place finish in the 100 backstroke, followed by her teammates Lauren Poppenhagen, swimming an in-season best time, and Megan Mundell, giving the Tigers a one, two, three finish.
On the men's side, Westwater, swimming his second 100 backstroke of the day, put together an impressive race but could snag first place. He and Sappey finished two, three.
The Tigers took first place in the next two events on both sides: Ellie O'Brien in the women's 100 breast; Cody Hamane and Matt Weiser finished one, two in the men's 100 breast; Lizzy Kosin in the women's 200 butterfly; and Austin Lashley, Elliot Davis, and Dominic Rodriguez swept the men's 200 fly.
Once again, Sullivan and Chase Mitchell faced off in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events. They split the events, Mitchell outswimming Sullivan in the 50, and Sullivan taking the 100, swimming the fastest in-season flat start time at 49.51.
The Tigers commanded the 200 backstroke and 200 breaststroke. Kaczmarowski, Mundell, and Westwater all making drops from their season times in the backstroke, while O'Brien, Hamane, and Hank Franscioni swam dominating races in the 200 breaststroke.
In a race where Cal Lu's top swimmer missed her race, Lianne McKinney and Joan Kronick swam a one, two finish in the 100 butterfly, and Lashley crushed a first place finish, outtouching his opponent by .33 seconds.
At the final break, the Tigers were up by 10 points on the women's side and down by seven on the men's. Despite Kosin's first place finish in the 200 IM, the Regals continued to stay only 10 points back because Kosin was Oxy's only IMer.
Weiser and Sappey brought the Tigers to a two point lead with their one, two finish in the 200 IM. So now, it would come down to the relay on both sides of the competition.
In the 400 free relay, the day's final event, the Oxy B relay jumped into first place but an impressive swim but the second swimmer on Cal Lu brought the two teams nearly even. But the Oxy relays were not going down with a fight. Zoe Namba battled back the A relay, gaining ground on the Regals and the B relay. But it was Hannah Ash and Madeline Gillman who sealed the deal for the A relay. An in-season best split for B anchor Rebeca Fernandez landed the Tigers a one, two finish, ensuring the women's victory 137-124.
Mitchell was the first to dive in the water for the Tigers. Despite breaking Sullivan's 100 time from earlier in the meet, the Tigers were still behind. Sullivan jumped in next, swimming a 48.77 and bringing the Tigers within a second of the Kingsmen. Westwater, feeding off the building energy in the crowd, swam a 48.72, putting the Tigers in first place. Weiser anchored in a 50.11 and giving the Tigers a dominating first place victory, nearly 3.5 seconds in front of the Kingsmen. With a third place finish from the B relay, the Tigers wrapped up the meet with a 137-126 victory.