Video Tribute: The CMS Men's Swimming and Diving Class of 2021
As part of NCAA Division III week (Apr. 5-11), we will be honoring the senior classes for all 21 of our varsity sports. A number of our student-athletes elected to take a semester or a school year off and could return to action next season, but we have chosen to honor the senior classes as they would have been, without the COVID-19 interruption. The members of the Class of 2021 lost so much of what they had built towards in their first 2-3 years of competition when the pandemic hit, but still clearly left their mark on CMS Athletics.
CLAREMONT, Calif. - The CMS Men's Swimming and Diving Class of 2021 didn't know that the SCIAC Championships in 2020 would be their final meet together as a full class, but they made it count, earning a thrilling 14-point victory (1078-1064) over Pomona-Pitzer for their first SCIAC title in their three seasons.
The Class of 2021 was in their junior years at the time, after finishing as runners-up in their first two SCIAC Championships as first-years and sophomores. The year before they arrived, the Stags won a close battle over Pomona-Pitzer by only eight points, and they headed into the 2020 Championships with a regular season win over the Sagehens under their belts, hoping to get the chance to hold the banner themselves.
It took everyone up and down the roster, but the Stags came through with the championship, and several members of the Class of 2021 were preparing to travel to the NCAA Championships when the cancelation of sports struck in March. The missed opportunity of that junior trip to nationals, and their entire senior seasons, is mitigated to some degree by the dramatic championships that helped them go out on top.
The 10 members of the CMS Men's Swimming and Diving Class of 2021 are as follows:
Marco Conati (Fly/Free, Plymouth, Minn. - HMC, Engineering)
Conati earned All-America honors as a sophomore in the 100 fly, finishing fourth at the NCAA Championships, and then earned four All-America honors as a junior (100 fly, and three relays) by earning NCAA qualifying times before nationals were canceled. He ranks in the top four in CMS history in three different events: the 100 fly (second), the 100 free (third) and the 50 free (fourth) and he has the fastest 50 and 100-yard butterfly splits in CMS history as well. An engineering major at Harvey Mudd, he has been a CSCAA First-Team Scholar All-America and a SCIAC All-Academic Team selection during his Stag career. Conati has also held a research and development internship with TA Instruments, researching and implementing solutions for compression and storage of large sensor data files.
Kyle Fendorf (Fly/Distance, Stanford, Calif. - CMC, Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
Fendorf has competed in both the butterfly and distance freestyle events over his CMS career. As a sophomore, he had the eighth-fastest time in the field in the 1650 at the SCIAC Championships, finishing in 16:09.75 (12 seconds faster than his seed time). In the regular season of his junior year in 2019-20, he won the 1000-yard freestyle in a dual meet with La Verne, and also was part of a 1-2-3 finish in the 1000 for the Stags in a tri-meet with Occidental and Whittier. A SCIAC All-Academic team selection as a philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) major at CMC, Fendorf interned last summer with the Global Education & Leadership Foundation, and has served as a research assistant for the Lowe Institute of Political Economy.
Will Grassle (Free/Back, Wayzata, Minn. - CMC, Economics and Government)
Grassle earned All-SCIAC honors as both a sophomore and a junior as part of the CMS 200-yard freestyle relay team, helping the Stags finish in 1:22.22 in the most recent conference championships in 2020. He also reached the finals in all three of his individual events at the 2020 SCIAC Championships, earning fourth in the 100 back (51.03), seventh in the 200 back (1:52.43) and ninth in the 50 free (out of 76 swimmers in the event) with a 21.17, providing 43 points to the CMS winning total, a big step forward after he swam in the SCIAC consolation heats in his events as a sophomore. He also helped the 200 medley B team win its heat to add 20 more points to the CMS total. An economics and government major at CMC, he served as a staff intern for Congressman Dean Phillips during the fall semester.
Daniel Hayon (Sprint Freestyle, Calabasas, Calif. - CMC, International Relations and Psychology)
Hayon is a six-time All-SCIAC performer, finishing third in the 50 free at the 2018 SCIAC Championships in 20.86, after coming in eighth in the prelims. He has also been part of five All-SCIAC relay teams during his career, including three as a sophomore (200 free relay, 400 medley relay, 400 free relay), anchoring two of them. After studying abroad in the fall of 2019, he returned to win the 50 free at the CMS Invitational in the spring. A dual major in international relations and psychology, Hayon is working as a summer associate with AlphaSights and held a 10-month marketing and operations internship with Bev, co-developing marketing campaigns and building social media engagement.
Juan Diego Herrera (Dive, La Paz, Bolivia - CMC, Economics and Computer Science)
Herrera joined the CMS swimming and diving program as a junior in 2019 and competed for one season with the Stags as a diver. His arrival made a big difference, as he earned a sixth-place finish at the SCIAC Championships in the one-meter dive and a seventh-place finish in the one-meter dive. Those two results provided CMS with 29 points towards its team total, in a meet that it won by only 14. Out of the pool, he was worked extensively with the CMC Student Investment Fund throughout his four years, including serving as a Vice President for a year. He has also been a teaching assistant at the Robert Day School and interned as an investment banking summer analyst in his native Bolivia.
Sean Hoerger (IM/Breast, Saratoga, Calif. - HMC, Computer Science)
Hoerger ranks fifth in CMS history in the 200-yard breaststroke, sixth in the 400-yard IM and seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke, despite missing his senior year due to the pandemic. He earned a second-place finish at the SCIAC Championships in the 200-yard breaststroke with a personal best time of 2:03.19, and also finished fourth in the 400 IM and fifth in the 100 breast, to give him 52 points in his individual races in a meet the Stags only won by 14. A computer science major at Harvey Mudd, Hoerger was also a CSCAA Honorable Mention Scholar All-America winner twice, and was a member of the SCIAC All-Academic Team, and has interned as a software engineer for Blacktop Government Solutions.
Kyrellos Ibrahim (Distance/IM, Redlands, Calif. - CMC, Biochemistry)
Ibrahim had a big junior season to help CMS to the SCIAC Championship, moving up into a scoring role and responding by earning three top-10 finishes. He reached the finals of both the 400 IM and the 500 free, earning seventh and eighth place, respectively, and added a 10th place finish in the 1650 to give the Stags 35 points towards their winning 14-point margin. His performances also moved him into the top 10 in two events in school history, placing eighth in the 400 IM (4:02.99) and ninth in the 500 (4:35.01). A SCIAC All-Academic Team selection as a biochemistry major at Claremont McKenna, Ibrahim has been a biochem research assistant at Harvey Mudd, researching the behavior and protein:protein interactions of OGG-1 in yeast as model organisms and worked on campus as a First-Year Guide.
Kiubon Kokko (Dive, Dublin, Ohio - CMC, Media Studies)
Kokko joined the swimming and diving program as a sophomore and competed for two seasons. As a media studies major at Claremont McKenna, Kokko built an extensive resume during his time as a student. In October, he was the grand prize winner at the Study Abroad Film Festival, sponsored by the International Education of Students, a program he enrolled in and studied abroad in the fall of 2019 in Nantes, France. He also spent the summer of 2019 interning at a production company in Portugal, after spending the previous summer in Tunisia and France teaching English through the art of film-making. He also served as the Director of Specialty Cinema for the CMS College Programming Board, and has since founded his own film company called 12:10 Films.
Andreas Roeseler (Sprint Freestyle, Chicago, Ill. - HMC, Computer Science)
Roeseler's role on relays, frequently as the anchor, has led to him winning All-SCIAC honors 10 times in three seasons, including a SCIAC Championship in the 200 medley relay as a junior, while earning three All-America honors in 2020. He also earned his way onto the podium as an individual his junior year, finishing in third place in the 50 free with a 20.93 to take All-SCIAC honors. He also added a sixth-place finish in the 100 free and a tenth-place finish in the 200 free to give CMS 43 points in his individual races in a meet the Stags won by 14. He ranks ninth in CMS history in the 40 free and is part of a record-holding 200 medley relay team (1:28.91). A CSCAA First-Team Scholar All-America and a SCIAC All-Academic Team selection as a computer science major at Harvey Mudd, Roeseler will begin his career as a software engineer with Arista Networks.
Abel Sapirstein (Distance/IM, Baltimore, Md. - HMC, Mathematical and Computational Biology)
Sapirstein ranks ninth all-time in CMS history in the 1650, earning a time of 16:03.38 to come in sixth place at the SCIAC Championships in 2018. He also had the tenth-best time in the 500 as both a first-year and as a sophomore, when he earned a 4:36.75. A CSCAA Honorable Mention Scholar All-America and a SCIAC All-Academic Team selection as a mathematical and computational biology major at Harvey Mudd, Sapirstein recently received a prestigious Watson Fellowship for the 2021-22 academic year, which he will spend exploring healthcare access and disparity in urban and rural communities in the global north and south. He has previously worked as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and as a software engineer intern with Amazon Web Services.