Athenas Finish SCIAC Dual Meets Undefeated
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps topped the University of Redlands in a SCIAC battle of undefeated teams Saturday, February 6 at CMS's Axelrood Pool.
In a meet that was closer than the final score of 139-104 indicates, several notable performances powered CMS. Critical to the Athenas' success all year, the CMS divers opened the meet with big points. Freshman Carmen Lundell led a 1-2-3 sweep of the 1-meter board and a 1-2-4 showing on 3-meter.
The Athena 400 medley relay uncorked a monstrous performance to open the swimming events. Elsa Cheng, Annie Perizzolo, Katie Bilotti and Emma Jones's time of 3:56.69 is an NCAA B-cut and currently ranks as the 4th fastest performance in NCAA D-III this season. It was a CMS pool record by nearly 5 seconds and also marks the first time in SCIAC history that a women's 400 medley relay has broken 4:00 in a dual meet. Despite that record setting swim, as the relay unfolded much of the crowd's attention shifted to the third place battle between CMS's "B" relay and Redlands' "B" relay. The Athenas' Heidi Wolfgruber out-touched her Redlands counterpart by .14 to nab the points.
Sophomore Whitney Dawson negative split her 1650 freestyle, winning in 18:20.38. Emma Jones followed with the second of her three winning swims of the day. Fending off Redlands' hard-charging Lauren Zehner, Jones won the 200 yard freestyle with an NCAA B-standard of 1:55.54.
Redlands took the next three swimming events. Jenni Rinker was second in the 50 free with a season best time of 25.11 for CMS. The 200 IM was one of the closest on the day, with the top three places separated by .18. CMS's Amy Tresenrider took the second spot in 2:15.34. Elsa Cheng's personal record o 2:12.83 in the 200 butterfly placed her third.
In the 100 freestyle, Jones just missed her third "B-cut" of the day, winning in 53.58. Then the Athenas posted a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 backstroke; Jenni Rinker was only .34 off of an NCAA B-standard with a time of 2:09.38. Tessa Dover and Amy Tresenrider followed to complete the sweep. Redlands won the 500 free to finish the day's second session.
Junior Annie Perizzolo had earlier posted a blistering 1:04.82 breaststroke split on the 400 medley relay, so it was no surprise when Perizzolo won the 200 breast by over 10 seconds. Her time of 2:22.70 was an NCAA B-cut. In the same race, sophomore Ching Tung topped the rest of a deep field to take second in 2:33.18.
Even though CMS had mathematically secured the team victory going into the 400 free relay, all eyes were following the tightest race of the day. Olivia Graham, Elsa Cheng and Katie Bilotti staked an early lead and Jenni Rinker's powerful final 5 yards held off the Redlands relay 3:40.55 to 3:40.57.
Saturday was both Senior Day and the final dual meet of the season. The Athena senior class graduates with a 28-0 SCIAC dual meet record. Now the team's focus is on peaking for the upcoming championship season. SCIAC diving prelims will be next Saturday and Sunday at the University of Redlands. The SCIAC Swimming and Diving Finals will be February 21-23 at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach.