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Christina Campbell won the backstroke and contributed to a CMS medley relay win at the CBU Distance Meet
Christina Campbell won the backstroke and contributed to a CMS medley relay win at the CBU Distance Meet

CMS Women's Swimming and Diving Finishes Close Second in CBU Distance Meet

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's swimming and diving team put up a strong challenge against a California Baptist program that is in transition to Division I, with the race coming right down to final relay, but came up just short 128-115 in the annual distance meet between the programs on Friday afternoon.

The Athenas, who had been idle for the last five weeks since defeating Pomona-Pitzer in a two-day dual on Dec. 6-7, now stand at 4-2 on the season in dual competition, with both defeats coming to programs moving to Division I (UC San Diego being the other). The California Baptist Distance Meet wasn't a true dual, with the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and IM all featuring 300-yard races, instead of the standard 100-yard and 200-yard distances, and the medley and freestyle relays both covering 500 yards, instead of the normal 200-yard and 400-yard races.  

CMS opened the dual by winning the 500-yard medley relay, as the Athena team of junior Christina Campbell (backstroke), sophomore Augusta Lewis (breaststroke), sophomore Ava Sealander (butterfly) and junior Natalia Orbach-Mandel (freestyle) won the race in 5:18.42, beating out the Cal Baptist "A" team (5:23.19) by almost five seconds.   

Lewis, the reigning SCIAC Swimmer of the Year, took first-place finishes in the 300-yard individual medley and the 300-yard breaststroke, winning both races by just over six seconds. She earned her IM victory by clocking a time of 3:19.81, and then captured the 300 breast in 3:39.64.

Campbell also had a first-place finish in the 300-yard backstroke, winning by just under five seconds with a final time of 3:20.77, while sophomore Natalie Larsen was a close third in 3:25.74. Campbell added a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.50, followed in third by junior Allie Umemoto, who was competing in her first event after studying abroad in the fall.

First-year Ella Blake came up with a win in the 1000-yard freestyle in the first individual event of the meet, touching the wall in 10:42.36 for a margin of victory of just over four seconds, while first-year Gracey Hiebert came in third in 10:49.92. Blake also came in second in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:13.87 to add four more points to the CMS total.

First-year Annika Johnson finished a close second in the 300-yard butterfly, ending in 3:14.59 to finish just behind Nicole Cienega of Cal Baptist in 3:14.21, while first-year Arisa Cowe was in third place. Sealander was also a close second in the 50 free, finishing in 24.64 to finish one-tenth of a second behind Rita Smirnova of Cal Baptist.

The 500-yard freestyle relay team capped off the meet with a second-place finish, as first-year Suzanne Starzyk, junior Janet Tran, Orbach-Mandel and Blake finished in 4:44.16, less than two seconds off the pace.

CMS will be back in action tomorrow when it returns to SCIAC competition with a road meet against La Verne, beginning with diving at 10 a.m.