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CMS will look to get back to the SCIAC Championship podium this season

CMS Men's Swimming and Diving Ranked Tenth in Preseason Poll

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's swimming and diving team opens its season on Saturday at UC San Diego, and will make the road trip as a top-10 team, earning the No. 10 position in the preseason poll from the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America, the organization announced today.

CMS last competed in 2020, earning a narrow SCIAC Championship over Pomona-Pitzer by 12 points, but lost the chance to compete at nationals when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an athletics shutdown one week before they were scheduled to compete. Four of the Stags who were headed to the NCAA Championships are back in 2021-22, hoping to get CMS back to the championship podium at SCIACs this season. 

Leading the way is Marco Conati, who was originally in the Class of 2021, but took a gap year in order to have his senior season. Conati was an All-American in the 100-yard butterfly in 2019, finishing in fourth place at nationals, and has been the SCIAC Champion individually three times (twice in the 100 fly and once in the 50 free). 

Also back as returning All-Americans from relay teams off the 2019-20 team are senior Walter Limm, junior Anderson Breazeale and junior Nathan Luis. Limm holds the school record in the 100-yard breaststroke (55.77) and ranks seventh in the 200 breast. Breazeale will be a SCIAC contender in the backstroke events, where he ranks second in program history in both events, while Luis will join Conati as top swimmers in the butterfly, where he ranks fifth in CMS history in the 100. 

Senior Nick Tan is another veteran who will have a major role in the Stag fortunes this season in both the backstroke and the IM, ranking seventh in CMS history in both the 200 back and the 200 IM. Junior Joe Zales will lead the CMS distance swimmers, where he currently ranks third in Stag annals in both the 500 and the 1650, while senior Daniel Hayon will be a key sprinter, having earned All-SCIAC honors in five relays and individually in the 50 free.  

Ben Smith, who took a gap year and maintained his sophomore status, ranks fourth in CMS history in the 400 IM and tenth in the 200 fly, while junior Alec Vercruysse ranks eighth in program history in the 200 IM. Junior Thayer Breazeale reached the finals of the 200 fly at the SCIAC Championships.

Junior Abai Houser, who finished in the top eight in both events at the 2020 SCIAC Championships, will lead a young diving contingent that will need to replace eight-time SCIAC Champion Kendall Hollimon.

After traveling to UC San Diego, the team will hold its annual alumni meet on Oct. 30, before opening SCIAC competition on Saturday, Nov. 6 against Occidental at 10 a.m. (diving at 10 a.m., swimming at 11 a.m.). The Stags will also host the annual two-day meet with Pomona-Pitzer, which came in at No. 11 in the preseason poll, on Dec. 3-4 to close out the first semester. 

To view the complete CSCAA Division III Preseason polls, go to the folliwing link:

CSCAA Division III Polls