Oxy women finish second at OC Invite, men fourth

Oxy women finish second at OC Invite, men fourth
By Sean Lee
Sports Information

ALISO VIEJO — The Occidental College men's and women's swimming teams got a chance to swim in a full slate of events for the first time this season at the Orange County Invitational on Saturday.

The Tigers kicked off the meet in grand style with women's 200-yard medley relay A and B teams finishing first and second, respectively. The A team of Zoe Namba (Honolulu), Caroline Chang (Lisle, Ill.), Lizzy Kosin (LaGrange Park, Ill.), and Lauren Ransom (Albuquerque, N.M.) posted the third fastest time in Oxy history, coming in at 1 minute, 53.15 seconds. The B team touched the wall at 1:57.43.

"It was a good race," Oxy head coach Shea Manning said. "All four put together a great relay and set the meet off on a right note. And to have our B relay right there beating everyone's A teams really amplified that positive energy to kick things off."

The Oxy women finished the meet with 328 points, good for second overall.

"It was great competition and fun to race people we don't see throughout the season," Manning added.

Chang also won the 100 breaststroke with a meet record of 1:08.06. She had a pair of second-place finishes as well, coming in second in 200 breaststroke (2:30.53) and 200 individual medley (2:18.04). Her total of 42 points was second overall.

Kosin backed up her strong performance at the Redlands Pentathlon last weekend, where she took second in 100 butterfly, with Oxy's 10th all-time best finish in 200 butterfly (2:22.01).

Lauren Poppenhagen (Wellesley, Mass.) took third in 100 backstroke with a time of 1:05.58 and Emily Watkins (Palo Alto) also took third in 100 breaststroke, clocking in at 1:10.60.

The men's team finished with 255 points, just a few points off Biola and Soka.

"To be that close to Soka and Biola was great given the fact that we were swimming with less than half of our roster," Manning said. "We still put together solid swims."

The Tigers were led by Alexander Najarian (Glendale). The freshman posted Oxy's 8th best time ever in 200 butterfly (2:01.46) and took third. He also finished second in 100 butterfly with a time of 0:53.33.

Steven van Deventer (Naperville, Ill.) placed third in both the 100 breast (1:02.26) and 200 breast (2:14.63). Kevin Kuwata (Rolling Hills) was right behind van Deventer in the 200 breast, finishing at 2:20.84.

The Oxy men's 200 medley relay A team and 400 freestyle relay A team both finished third.

The Tigers open the conference season on Dec. 1 against Redlands.