CMS, UR in tight race after on Day one of SCIAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships

LONG BEACH, Calif. – With two teams separated by just 11 points, day one of the Men’s Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 2011 Swimming & Diving Championships was nothing short of electrifying as Meet records fell, SCIAC records were broken and a diver scored a perfect 10.0. The energy was present throughout the course of the evening with two days to come.

With no clear-cut favorite, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ holds a slight edge, 246-235, over the University of Redlands. The third spot is currently held by Pomona-Pitzer (141) with California Lutheran University (132) just behind. Rounding out the field are Whittier College (98), the University of La Verne (90), Occidental College (81) and Caltech (69).

Day 1 – Sunday

200 Free Relay
As expected, the University of Redlands jumped out an early lead, winning the opening relay with a time of 1:23.69, which was just 54 hundredths of a second off the SCIAC and Meet Records set back in 1999 by CMS. UR saw Collin Gladys, Matthew Zaggy, Nikolai Paloni and Tyler Harp join forces for the win. The group of Sean Fitzgerald, Austin Hallett, Jeff McNerney and Devin Bowers was right on the Bulldogs’ heels as the Stag were barely out-touched finishing in 1:23.97. Cal Lutheran’s relay team of Grant East, Conrad Sheffer, Jon Rye and William Kennedy placed third in 1:24.39.

500 Freestyle
Bettering the SCIAC record he set last year at this event, Alexander Alders (UR) went a 4:32.83 to repeat as the 500 freestyle champion. Although Alders won by eight seconds, Nick Ostreim (CMS) and J.P. Cummings (PP) kept pace with one another to place second and third in 4:40.06 and 4:41.21, respectively.  

200 Individual Medley
The defending SCIAC and NCAA Division III National Champion, Collin Gladys,  added another SCIAC title to his list of accomplishments, winning the 200 IM in a time of 1:51.22. Although he led throughout the race, CMS sophomore Blake Weber gave Gladys a run for his money, making up more than two seconds in the final 25 yards to finish in 1:51.74. In a battle for the third spot, Stags’ Austin Hallett edged UR’s Christopher Depew 1:53.22 to 1:53.90 for third place.

50 Freestyle
A loud crowd helped push the swimmers in this event as the difference between first and second was a mere hundredth of a second. Tyler Harp(UR) and Max Scholten (PP) repeated as Champion and runner-up with times of 21.01 and 21.02, respectively. Sean Fitzgerald stole the third spot in 21.09 for CMS. The time differential between first and eighth was just 64 hundredths of a second.

400 Medley Relay
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps capped off the day by setting a new SCIAC and Meet Record as Blake Weber, Vincent Pai, Jordan Lieberman and Devin Bowers swam a 3:23.68, breaking the SCIAC Record set in 1997 by another Stags’ team and the Meet Record set last year by UR. Just over two seconds back of CMS was Redlands, whose quartet of Mike Reilly, Collin Gladys, Christopher Depew and Tyler Harp swam a 3:25.38. Earning the third spot was PP, as Max Scholten, Andew Kinimaka, Tommy DePaoli and Joe LaBriola finished in a time of 3:30.31.

One-Meter Diving
In first, where he finished last weekend’s Preliminaries, was where Whittier’s Tyler Aisner finished the afternoon. The highlight of the entire diving competition came in the eighth round when the junior received a perfect 10.0, sending the entire pool deck into a frenzy. After a disappointing eighth place finish a week ago, defending one-meter champion Andrew Fevery, from CMS, was the runner-up with a 401.60. Also reaching the 400-point mark was Caltech’s Justin Johnson who placed third with a 400.55, making his way to the podium for the second consecutive year.

For the most in depth coverage, please see below for Day-by-day and event-by-event previews. The complete psych sheet can be found here.