Swim & Dive rocks SCIACs


Author: Damian Mendieta|Damian Mendieta

Amid howling winds and relentless sun, two days at the SCIAC Swimming and Diving Championships at La Mirada have resulted in multiple Occidental records shattered and four individual SCIAC champions. Wasting no time, the women exploded to nab the third overall slot, trailing only Claremont-McKenna-Scripps (CMS) and Pomona-Pitzer.

A major contribution to the women’s success came from the deep end, as diver Jessica Robson (junior), beat out the competition clinching the 1-meter and 3-meter crowns for the third consecutive year.

Emily Watkins (sophomore) nabbed third overall in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke and defending SCIAC champion Caroline Chang (junior) comfortably finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke as she and Watkins both cleared the NCAA finals B-cut at 1:04.42 minutes and 1:05.48 minutes, respectively. In the 200-yard freestyle, Juliet Seuss (junior) finished third overall at 1:54.23 minutes, and just missed out on the 1:53.90 minutes B-cut qualifying time.

An elite women’s cadre of Chang, Watkins, Lizzy Kozin (first-year) and co-captain Lauren Ransom (senior) notched a 1:48.41 minutes third-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley relay.

Coming off a second-to-last finish last year, the men’s roster rebounded with bold performances to hold onto 4th overall.

Breaststrokers Steven Van Deventer (sophomore) and Kevin Kuwata (sophomore) both qualified for NCAA finals, Van Deventer winning at 55.70 seconds and Kuwata in third at 56.95 seconds. Both shattered the previous record of 57.68 seconds set at last year’s league finals.

Rookie phenomenon Alex Najarian (first-year) won the 100-yard butterfly title in 49.33 seconds, qualifying for national finals and eclipsing the all-time Occidental record set in 1992.

Van Deventer, Kuwata, Najarian and Will Westwater (first-year) also teamed up to garner third place honors in the 200-yard individual medley relay.

Be sure to read a full results article online and in next week’s print issue on Feb. 27.


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