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Marco Conati
Marco Conati's meet record in the 100 fly was the individual highlight on a day CMS moved into first

Big Third Day Surges Men's Swimming and Diving into First Place at SCIAC Championships

COMMERCE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's swimming and diving came back from a big deficit to rally into a 21-point lead (762-741 over Pomona-Pitzer) after the third day of the SCIAC Championships at the Brenda Villa Aquatic Center on Saturday. 

Junior Marco Conati repeated as the SCIAC Champion in the 100-yard butterfly, setting a new meet record with a time of 48.30 seconds. But it was largely the strong depth from the Stags, featuring multiple finalists in many events, that enabled CMS to pass Pomona-Pitzer heading into the final day. 

CMS also had the No. 3-6 finishers in the 100 breast, with sophomore Walter Limm coming in third in 55.77 to set a new program record (breaking the old mark of 55.92 which had been held by Gary Simon since 1997), and earn All-SCIAC honors. Senior Sam Willett was fourth, junior Sean Hoerger fifth, and first-year Alec Vercruysse sixth to give the Stags 66 points out of the finals, while Pomona-Pitzer had only one finalist, second-place Likas Menkoff, who earned 19 points. 

In the 400 IM, CMS had four finalists, with first-year Ben Smith capturing All-SCIAC honors with a third-place finish in 3:59.13 to come in under the 4-minute mark for the fourth-fastest time in program history, over three seconds faster than his time in prelims. He was followed by junior Sean Hoerger in fourth, senior Henry Limm in fifth and junior Kyrellos Ibrahim in seventh, as the four swimmers combined for 65 points in the finals, while Pomona-Pitzer only had 41 for the top two finishers. 

The 100-yard backstroke saw CMS earn four of the top six, with first-year Anderson Breazeale coming in second with a time of 49.97, coming in just one-hundredth of a second behind Will Crewe of Chapman and tying for third all-time in CMS history. Senior Dave Makhervaks was third, junior Will Grassle fourth, and sophomore Nick Tan was sixth, as the quartet earned 69 points, all finishing before the first Sagehen, seventh-place Nick Borowsky, to give CMS a big lift in the point totals. 

In addition to Conati's first-place finish in the 100 fly, first-year Nathan Luis also earned his way onto the podium with a third-place finish in 49.26, giving him 18 points to add to the 22 Conati got for finishing first. 

Anderson Breazeale added his second All-SCIAC honor of the day in the 200 free, coming in third with a time of 1:40.33, while senior Ben Culberson was seventh in 1:41.21. 

CMS came in third in the final event of the day, the 400-yard medley relay, but the strong showing in the individual events left the Stags still in front by 21. 

The final day of the SCIAC Championships will take place tomorrow, with the 1650, as well as individual championships in the 200 fly, the 200 back, the 200 breast, and the 100 free, before the meet ends with the 400-yard freestyle relay, which could take place with the championship in the balance if the scores stay close.