Mia Syme Dominates 1650 on Final Day of SCIAC Championships, Athenas Finish Close Second

Mia Syme Dominates 1650 on Final Day of SCIAC Championships, Athenas Finish Close Second

COMMERCE, Calif. - Sophomore Mia Syme won the 1650 by over 36 seconds with a time of 17:03.21, moving into the top 10 in the nation in Division III this year, but the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's swimming and diving team ended the 2019 SCIAC Championships in a close second place after the conclusion of the four-day event on Sunday evening at the Brenda Villa Aquatic Center.

Pomona-Pitzer ended up edging out the Athenas for the team title 1114.5 to 1071.5, a difference of just 43 points. Third place was Occidental with 507 points, a figure that Pomona-Pitzer and CMS more than doubled. 

The finals began with the 1650 and Syme left the field in the dust, winning in a SCIAC meet record time of 17:03.21, with the second-place finisher (Katherine Hines of Occidental) finishing in 17:39.63. The time will almost certainly earn Syme a trip to the NCAA Division III Championships in Greensboro, N.C. next month, as she currently places ninth nationally this season.

CMS also got valuable points in the 1650 from freshman Leila El Masri, who was fourth, and senior Torrey Hart, who came in seventh. 

Freshman Natalie Larsen earned her way onto the podium in the 200-yard backstroke on Sunday night with a 2:05.10, placing third to earn All-SCIAC honors. Sophomore Elena Kovachevich won the consolation heat to finish 10th overall, earning 10 points towards the Athena total. 

The 100-yard freestyle saw five of the nine swimmers who qualified for the finals wearing scarlet and gold CMS caps. Senior Riley Hoffman capped off her career with a second-place finish in 51.88 to earn All-SCIAC honors, while sophomore Natalia Orbach-Mandel joined her on the podium with a third-place finish in 51.97. Junior Jocelyn Crawford, who won the 50 free on Friday night, came in fifth, while sophomore Janet Tran (seventh) and senior Emma Stacy (ninth) also qualified for the finals. 

The 200-yard breaststroke saw freshman Augusta Lewis finish a close second in her bid to win three straight SCIAC titles, after dominating both IM events on Friday and Saturday. Lewis swam an NCAA "B" cut time of 2:19.57, which currently ranks No. 13 nationally, but came in second to Alexandra Werner of Pomona-Pitzer with a 2:18.62. Junior Claire Bacon-Brenes also earned her way up the podium steps with a third-place finish in 2:20.83. 

Freshman Ava Sealander, who won the 100 fly on Saturday, qualified for the finals in the 200 fly, finishing fourth in 2:07.55, while sophomore Allie Umemoto came in sixth in 2:09.78. The final event of the championship, the 400-yard freestyle relay, was as close as the SCIAC Championships, but Pomona-Pitzer was able to edge CMS 3:27.35 to 3:27.78 as both came in well under the NCAA "B" cut. 

CMS will next wait to see who gets invitations to the NCAA Division III Championships in March. Current swimmers who place in the top 20 include: 

50 free: Jocelyn Crawford (6th)
500: Mia Syme (19th)
1650: Mia Syme (9th)
200 breast: Augusta Lewis (13th)
100 fly: Ava Sealander (10th)
200 IM: Augusta Lewis (9th)
400 IM: Augusta Lewis (6th)

200 free (9th)
400 free (11th)
400 medley (19th)