Fields set for Day two Finals at SCIAC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships

LONG BEACH, Calif. – It is sure to be an exciting evening at the 2011 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Occidental College after a morning full of great swims.

For preliminary results see below. 

400 Individual Medley
Michelle Utama (UR) swam the fastest time of the morning with a 4:38.55 followed by a pair of CMS swimmers in Heidi Wolfgruber (4:39.24) and Olivia Graham (4:41.81) who were 1-2 in the third heat of the event. Whittier’s Erin Bartholomew earned her second finals appearance after winning the 500 free yesterday, with a swim of 4:42.17. Senior Sagehens’ swimmer Dana Kingman locked up the fifth seed A pair of Bulldogs in Kayla Desai and Kelley Cooper swam stroke for stroke going 4:49.68 and 4:49.79, respectively. The fifth senior earning a spot in finals was PP’s Lizzie Aby with a swim of 4:50.24.

100 Butterfly
In a field packed with CMS swimmers, freshman Michele Kee will return to the championship finals after setting a new SCIAC and Meet Record last night in the 200 IM. She paced the field with a swim of 55.97, lowering her NCAA cut by nearly two seconds. Teammate, defending champion and 2010 National runner-up Katie Bilotti will be the number two seed with a 56.51 swim followed by Helen Liu who came back in 57.34. Two more teammates were literally stroke-for-stroke as Erin MacLean and Elsa Cheng tied for the fourth spot in 57.53. Annika Jessen rounds out the CMS representatives after posting a time of 58.10.  Occidental junior Mallory Ryan returns to the finals after placing third in the 200 IM last night. Her 58.23 was just ahead of 2010 SCIAC runner-up Lauren Zehner who went a 58.92.

200 Freestyle
Coming from behind in the final 50, Allie Bollello (UR) stole the top seed (1:53.45), surpassing Emma Jones (CMS), who led for much of the race. Jones finished in 1:54.83, but was looking to earn a spot in the finals, conserving some of her energy for the 100 breastsstroke. Occidental freshmen Juliet Suess dropped five seconds to 1:55.95, and led throughout heat five, although PP’s Alex Lincoln made a late push, swimming a 1:56.51 to earn the third and fourth seeds tonight. Kristen Lindbergh (PP) and Carliann Brashier were separated by 65 hundredths of a second going 1:57.24 and 1:57.91, respectively. Earning a trip to her first collegiate final is CMS freshman Ellie Smith (1:58.05) with Jessica Medvec from UR completing the field after swimming a 1:59.80.

100 Breaststroke
After swimming to a 1:05.23, Occidental freshman Caroline Chang now ranks 13th in the Division III. Emma Jones had little time to recover from her 200 free swim, but did so in fine form, lowering her time by nearly three seconds to finish in 1:05.63. Whittier freshman Haley Von Schottenstein entering the evening with a 1:06.85 and McKenzie Makamura (UR) was next in line with a swim of 1:07.30. Rounding out the top eight are a trio of Athenas in Ching Tung (1:08.22), Elica Sharfinia (1:09.63) and Anne Miles (1:09.99) as well as Redlands senior Tiana Singley (1:09.48).

100 Backstroke
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps again earned six of the top eight spots in an event that saw five swimmers clock in under a minute. Led by sophomore Else Cheng (57.47), Katie Bilotti was second in 57.75 followed by teammates Tessa Dover (58.22), Jenni Rinker (58.61) and Helen Liu (59.57). Shelby Brooks will represent Cal Lutheran after swimming a 1:00.00 and Caitlin Michaels will swim for Redlands, posting a 1:00.15 this morning. The Athenas’ Annika Jessen wraps up the top eight with a 1:00.41.  

This afternoon the women are competing in the Three-Meter Diving finals and tonight the teams will swim both the 200 Medley Relay and the 800 Free Relay.

The clear-cut favorite and current No. 9 College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division III ranked Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps opened up nearly a 100 point lead following day one of competition. The seven-time defending SCIAC Champions earned 302.5 points with the University of Redlands pulling up in second, with 210, after the opening day. SCIAC Championships host Occidental College is currently third with 175.5 points to round out the top three. The remainder of the field includes Pomona-Pitzer (98.5), Whittier College (94.5), University of La Verne (67), California Institute of Technology (60), Cal Lutheran University (52).

Click here for the most in-depth coverage at the SCIAC Championships website where you can watch live, listen and track results as they happen.