Siena Lucido (sophomore) of Occidental’s swim and dive team swam a personal best of 2:34:94 in the 200 breaststroke in the dual meet against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) and Whitter College Feb. 1. Lucido has already made a splash at Occidental, setting the school record in 2019 in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:38:29.
With SCIAC championships starting Feb. 20, Lucido said her main goal is to do as well as she did last year. Lucido said the bar is set high as she achieved a personal best in every race last season.
“Last year, I had a pretty good SCIACs,” Lucido said. “I got best times in everything, so it’s kind of nerve-wracking when you just got a bunch of best times to think like, ‘Oh, can I do that again?’”
Lucido said one of her favorite events is the 200 individual medley, which includes 50 meters of four strokes: butterfly, breaststroke, freestyle and backstroke.
“I like it because it’s just a 50 of each one, and it’s not using the same muscles over and over, so I can switch back and forth into different gears,” Lucido said. “I also love doing the 400 individual medley, but it’s basically double the 200, so it’s a love-hate relationship with that one.”
According to head swim and dive coach Haley Mitchell, Lucido had a close win in the 1,000-yard race Jan. 11 against Pomona-Pitzer. Mitchell said this win has catapulted Lucido through the end of the season.
“Siena won the 1,000 by a fingernail,” Mitchell said. “It’s a long race to win, you got to be really tough to be in a close race and win it — that event especially. In a 50 or 100, it’s kind of always a close race, but it’s really fun when you win a close race in a long event like that, so that was really cool.”
Lucido said she has been swimming competitively since she was 8 years old and came to Occidental knowing she was going to be a member of the swim team.
Outside of swimming, Lucido spends time with her two cats, Snoopy and Jelly-Bean. Lucido said if she had to eat one meal for the rest of her life, it would be spaghetti and meatballs.
Noah Nagel (sophomore) placed second in the 200 backstroke and swam a season-best time of 1:59:15 against CMS and Whitter Feb. 1. Nagel swam an additional three races including the 200 individual medley, 200 medley relay and 100 butterfly to seal off the day’s competition.
According to Mitchell, Nagel stepped up and competed in the 100 butterfly, an event he normally does not swim, to aid the team’s lack of flyers. Regardless of his inexperience in the butterfly, Mitchell said Nagel swam strongly, a testament to his competence.
“What’s nice about IMers and good swimmers like Noah is that they’re versatile, so if you need somebody for an event, they just do it,” Mitchell said.
With the SCIAC Championship around two weeks out, Nagel said the team begins to taper their workouts, swimming less intensely each practice and not swimming at all the day before the championship competition. Mitchell said she imagines resting is not easy for eager swimmers like Nagel.
“[Nagel’s] been doing what he needs to do,” Mitchell said. “Now he just has to rest.”
Nagel said he always motivates himself to be better than he was the day before and that he often uses his past racing times for goal setting. According to Nagel, his teammates provide invaluable support.
“We have a lot of really hardworking and dedicated swimmers on the team,” Nagel said. “It’s really inspiring to work alongside people I have a lot of respect for athletically and physically. It’s really nice to see everyone try their best.”
According to Nagel, the team dynamic is an important part of his swimming experience at Occidental.
“The team is really close. We sit together, eat together and room together, so it’s a lot of fun,” Nagel said.
Outside of swimming, Nagel is currently conducting independent research with the physics department to build a robotic motor. If he had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of his life, Nagel said it would be spaghetti bolognese.
According to Mitchell, the team captains select a member of the men’s and women’s team each week to wear a jacket and a vest, respectively, on the bus ride home from competitions in recognition of their performances. This week, Lucido and Nagel were chosen.