LONG BEACH, Calif. – With a little help from their opposition, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags’ earned their fourth Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title at the 2011 event hosted by Occidental College at the Belmont Olympic Plaza. CMS earned two individual victories as well as the 400 Free Relay with the University of Redlands taking home two individual titles, placing second, with the Male Athlete of the Year, Tyler Harp, honored following the meet.
CMS combined for 921 points, outscoring UR (739) by almost two hundred points. Third place went to Pomona-Pitzer (479) with Cal Lutheran University (401) finishing fourth. Rounding out the field were Whittier College (272), the University of La Verne (271.5), Occidental College (217) and Caltech (181.5)
Alexander Alders not only lapped his opposition, finishing almost 30 seconds ahead of second place, but his 15:53.39 crushed the SCIAC and Meet Records while breaking his own UR record. Patrick Wall locked up second place with a swim of 16:22.43 ahead of third place finisher J.P. Cumming (16:32.08) who had some competition to get to the podium, edging CLU’s Jake Kaija who went a 16:33.77.
The top three finishers each reached an NCAA “B” cut today as the same trio who wen to the podium in 2010 returned to their respective spots tonight. SCIAC and Meet Record holder Max Scholten (PP) got out to a lead in the first 50 yards before Nick Ostreim (CMS) took over the lead for the next 125 yards. Scholten pulled his way back into the lead in the final length of the pool to regain his title with a 1:50.45. Just 14 hundredths of a second back, in 1:50.59, was Ostreim. The third place finisher was Blake Weber from CMS with a 1:52.79.
Earning an NCAA “B” cut and swimming just off his SCIAC and Meet Record time Redlands’ junior Tyler Harp went a 45.42, taking the lead in the second length and maintaining it throughout to earn another SCIAC title. In a battle for second Chris Evans (WC) got off to a slightly quicker start than Devin Bowers (CMS), but in the last 25 yards the Stag pulled ahead for a second place, 46.10 finish ahead of Evans’ time of 46.48.
The only question entering the final was whether or not Vincent Pai would swim under 2:00. Opening up a two second lead at the 100, which he went out in 57.43, Pai doubled his advantage in the next 50 yards and cruised into the wall in a Meet Record time of 2:00.37. The junior from CMS not only earned an NCAA “A” cut, but he was two seconds under that time to regain his title from 2009. Pai’s teammate Brad Perfect led the rest of the pack, as he and a pair of freshman, Marc Okimura (ULV) and Conrad Sheffer (CLU), duked it out for third. Swimming nearly in sync for the final 75 yards, Perfect and Okimura would make it to the podium in times of 2:06.45 and 2:06.67, respectively. Sheffer would be a touch behind in 2:06.83.
Breaking the Meet Record was not only one, but two, swimmers, who each earned NCAA “B” cuts as well. Entering as the top seed, Jordan Lieberman (CMS) took two seconds off his morning swim to earn the SCIAC title in 1:51.94, just three hundredths of a second ahead of UR’s Christopher Depew who led through the first 125 yards of the race before Lieberman hit the wall two hundredths of a second quicker at the 150 turn. Another pair of swimmers met NCAA “B” cuts in the race, with David Oryton and Brendan Huss going a 1:52.91 and a 1:53.00, respectively. Oryton occupied the final spot on the awards stand with the swim.
400 Freestyle Relay
As expected the teams were loud and supportive of their teams before, during and after the final event of the three-day meet. CMS never trailed with Devin Bowers leading off, followed by Austin Hallet who pulled the Stags to a second lead before Blake Weber added another second to the advantage with Sean Fitzgerald wrapping up the win for the Stags who went a combined 3:03.89, reaching an NCAA “B” cut. Next in line was UR behind Matthew Zaggy, Collin Gladys, Christopher Depew and Tyler Harp who swam a 3:05.94. Pomona-Pitzer was the third team into the wall in a time of 3:08.29 with Joe LaBriola, Andrew Kinimaka, Chris Wright and Mac Scholten swimming for the Sagehens.
Tonight marked the conclusion of the 2011 SCIAC Swimming & Diving Championships.