CMS Women's Swimming and Diving Moves Into Top 10 in Latest TYR National Rankings

CMS Women's Swimming and Diving Moves Into Top 10 in Latest TYR National Rankings

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's swimming and diving team moved up two spots to No. 10 in the latest TYR Division III national rankings released by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America on Wednesday. 

The Athenas continued a steady climb up the national rankings after beginning the year ranked No. 13 in the preseason poll and moving up one spot to No. 12 in the first mid-season rankings. CMS men's swimming and diving team, meanwhile, held steady at No. 12 for the third week in a row. 

The impetus behind the move into the top 10 for the Athenas has been a strong season-long performance from their freshman class, which produced eight individual wins in the latest dual meet with Pomona-Pitzer on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Augusta Lewis earned three of those eight wins, by sweeping the two IM events and adding a win in the 200-yard breaststroke, which earned her the SCIAC Swimmer of the Week Award. Leila El Masri won two freestyle events, taking the 200 and the 500, while Ava Sealander swept the butterfly and Natalie Larsen picked up a win in the 200 back. 

The freshmen have also helped hold the fort while the CMS roster has been incomplete at the start of the year. NCAA qualifier Claire Bacon-Brenes has been studying abroad in the fall and will re-join the team in the spring, while fellow NCAA qualifiers Mia Syme, Natalie Orbach-Mandel and Jocelyn Crawford have all missed substantial time in the fall with injuries. Crawford and Syme returned for the Pomona-Pitzer meet, when Crawford broke her own school record in the 50 (23.29) and Syme picked up a win in the 1650, while Orbach-Mandel will be back in January when the team resumes action. 

The performance of the CMS divers has also been a big part of the early season success, with senior Jacque Desmond finishing first in the last two meets in the one-meter to earn two straight SCIAC Diver of the Week honors, while sophomore Emily Bhatt has captured the last two three-meter events. Their points were crucial in a narrow 149-141 win over Occidental on Nov. 17. 

CMS is currently 4-3 in dual meets on the year, including 4-0 in the SCIAC, while the losses have come against UC San Diego (which is in transition to Division I), Washington University, ranked No. 8 in the latest poll, and the University of Chicago, ranked No. 9. 

The Athenas will be back in action on Jan. 4 for a distance meet against Cal Baptist, before their next full meet against Whittier on Jan. 12.