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Lewis Breaks Own IM Record, Athenas Go 1-2-3 in 500 Free to Highlight Day Two of SCIAC Swimming Championships

The Athenas swept the podium in the 500-yard freestyle on Friday
The Athenas swept the podium in the 500-yard freestyle on Friday

COMMERCE, Calif. - Sophomore Augusta Lewis broke her own SCIAC record in the 200-yard individual medley, and first-year Ella Blake, first year Gracey Hiebert and sophomore Leila El Masri finished 1-2-3 in the 500-yard freestyle as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's swimming and diving team took a 10-point lead after the second day of the SCIAC Championships at the Brenda Villa Aquatic Center.

CMS now stands with 471 points through eight events, while Pomona-Pitzer is in second with 461 points. It's a big dropoff to third, where Chapman stands with 252 points, setting up a two-team battle for the SCIAC title over the final two days. 

Lewis set SCIAC conference records in both IM events last year, clocking a 2:02.84 in the 200 IM as a first-year swimmer. This year, she trimmed almost a half-second off her own mark, finishing in 2:02.41 to win by a margin of almost four seconds. The Athenas also had the fourth and fifth-place finishers as sophomore Matalie Larsen was fourth in 2:07.14 and first-year Lexi Lee was fifth in 2:09.47. 

In the first event of the day, the Athenas set the tone with a dominant 1-2-3 finish in the 500-yard freestyle. Blake just missed coming in under the five minute mark, earning her first SCIAC Championship in 5:00.22. Hiebert was close behind with a time of 5:01.99 and El Masri made it a CMS sweep on the podium by placing third with a time of 5:02.52. 

CMS was a fingernail away from sweeping all three individual events on Friday, but sophomore Ava Sealander settled for a third-place finish in the 50 free in an exceptionally close race. Sealander touched the wall in 23.46 seconds, just three-hundredths out of first and two-hundredths out of second in a three-way photo finish at the wall. Junior Natalia Orbach-Mandel and first-year Suzanne Starzyk also tied for fourth for CMS in 23.77 seconds. 

The 200-yard freestyle relay of Sealander, Starzyk, junior Janet Tran and junior Natalia Orback-Mandel also saw CMS finish second with a time of 1:34.07. The Sagehens were able to win by .2 seconds to close the gap to 10 points after the second day of action. 

CMS will be back in action tomorrow as it tries to build on its lead, as the championship will include individual championships in the freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke, while Lewis will try to complete her IM sweep for the second year in a row in the 400 IM. Prelims begin at 9 a.m., with finals taking place at 5 p.m.