PASADENA — The men's swim and dive team faced a second meet where winning came down to the last relay. This time, though, the score ended in a tie with the Beavers of Caltech.
When the relay team of William Westwater, Austin Lashley, Cody Hamane, and Sean Sullivan stepped behind the blocks, the Tigers were down 13 points. They needed to get first place and their teammates Eddie Kochman, David Avery, Theo Bass, and Matt Weiser needed to place second to capture a victory.
The A relay took a comfortable first place, so all eyes were on the second relay as Weiser fought to catch Avikar Periwal of Caltech. On a photo finish, Periwal outtouched Weiser by .04 seconds to bring the meet to a tie.
The Tigers had their chances though throughout the meet to ensure victory, despite being 18 points down due to diving. Hamane lost a heartbreaker 200 IM where he led going into the last 50 but could not hold on in the freestyle leg, placing second by .44 seconds.
Likewise, Lashley lost in the final leg of his 100 butterfly getting outtouched by two swimmers and placing third, only .27 separating the three.
"During this time of the season where we are transitioning from grueling yards to taper, it is hard to tell how swimmers will feel in the water, and it often leaves them more tired by the end of their races," head coach Tom Iannone said.
Despite the tie, there were a few standout swims. Sullivan swam a tight race with Caltech's Patric Eck and Westwater and got his hand to the wall first at 49.57, .20 separating him from third place Westwater. Theo Bass swam an in-season best 5:10.71 in the 500 freestyle to take home first place. And Weiser took over the 100 breaststroke, finishing in a 1:00.01.
"Though we are disappointed to have tied, we are encouraged by the times put up by some of our swimmers. It is difficult to come back from 18 points down against any team, and Caltech swam an impressive meet today," Iannone said.
The Tigers return to the pool on Saturday at Redlands in a tri-meet between Occidental, Redlands, and Chapman.