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Nick Tekieli won 3 SCIAC titles last year (photo by Aaron Gray)
Nick Tekieli won 3 SCIAC titles last year (photo by Aaron Gray)

CMS Men's Swim and Dive Looks to Defend SCIAC Championship

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CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's swimming and diving team will look to win its third straight SCIAC title when the league championships take place from Wednesday-Saturday at East Los Angeles College (ELAC).

CMS will serve as the host institution for the event, which will get underway with men's one-meter diving prelims at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, with the first day of swimming competition following at 5:45 p.m. with the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay. On Thursday, swimming prelims will take place at 9 a.m. with the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free, with the men's one-meter finals at 3:30 p.m., followed by the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free finals at 5:30 p.m.

Friday and Saturday will follow a similar schedule with backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle events having prelims in the morning and finals in the evening, with diving taking place in between. 

CMS is in excellent position to defend its 2022 title with four swimmers who combined for nine individual titles last year returning. Nick Tekieli won three events in 2022 (50 free, 100 free, 100 back), Frank Applebaum won two (200 fly, 200 IM), and only his own teammate, the graduated Marco Conati, prevented him from adding the 100 fly title as well, Anderson Breazeale won two (200 back, 200 free) and was third in the 500 free, and Lucas Lang won two (500 free, 1650 free).

In addition to the SCIAC Champions last year, Dylan Krueger was second in the 100 back and third in the 200 back to make his way onto the All-SCIAC podium twice (as well as finishing fifth in the 50 free). CMS also has several returning finalists (top nine) who will be looking to crack the top three and make it onto the podium this time around. The Stags have only two seniors, and both will be trying to end their careers with medals around their necks, including Thayer Breazeale, who is seeded third in the 200 fly and fifth in both the 500 free and 100 fly, and Alec Vercruysse, who is seeded seventh in the 100 breast and eighth in the 200 breast after making the finals in both last year.

Grant Stucky is seeded fourth in the 100 back and fifth in the 200 back after finishing fourth in both last year (as well as sixth in the 400 IM), and he'll be looking to move up at least one spot and earn a podium position. Ben J. Smith was fourth last year in the 400 IM (and ninth in the 200 fly), while Weston Crewe is seeded fourth in the 100 fly after making the finals last year (as well as in the 100 back). 

The Stags lost a few key swimmers from a year ago, but arguably got even deeper with the addition of several strong newcomers. Henrik Barck is seeded second in the 400 IM, an event in which Pomona-Pitzer finished 1-2-3 last year, and is also seeded fourth in the 200 IM. Evan Deedy is seeded third in the 100 breast and fourth in the 200 breast. Korin Aldam-Tajima and Jeremy Tan are seeded second and third in the 100 back, with Aldam-Tajima also fourth in the 200 back. Tyler Headley (fourth in the 200 fly) and Steven Tran (fifth in the 200 breast) also have strong podium potential. 

The CMS divers will also be poised to have a larger podium presence this year. Cyrus Gaylord was third in the three-meter and Jack Griffith was third in the one-meter a year ago, with each finishing fourth on the opposite board, but one of the two divers in front of them last year is not returning. Ethan Sattley will also look to contend for the podium in his debut season. 

After competing at SCIACs, the Stags will wait on NCAA qualifications, where they will hope to improve on their eighth-place finish from a year ago. Applebaum earned a national championship in the 200 fly, while Tekieli, Lang, and Anderson Breazeale were first-team All-Americans. CMS also finished second at nationals in both medley relays and will try to contend for national titles in those events as well, after securing their invitations with strong times this week.