CMS Women's Swimming and Diving Finishes Close Second at SCIAC, Mitchum, Blake Win Titles
LA MIRADA, Calif. - Jameson Mitchum repeated as the SCIAC Champion in the 200 back to lead a 1-2-3 finish for the Athenas, and Ella Blake won the 1650 just ahead of teammate Gracey Hiebert, but the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's swimming and diving team wasn't quite able to dig its way out of a deficit and ended up as the runner-up at the SCIAC Championships to Pomona-Pitzer 1192-1141.
Blake began the day with a win in the 1650 in what was an exciting head-to-head race against Hiebert, although the Athenas were going to get the same 41 points (22 for first, 19 for second) no matter which way it went. Hiebert was the 1650 champion in 2020 the last time the SCIAC Championships were held, and Blake came in second, and the two swam virtually side by side the whole way, changing leads several times over the final 200 yards. Blake, though, ended up with the final push to win in 17:12.46 to Hiebert's 17:12.98.
Leila El Masri and Alex Towers also qualified for the finals and finished fourth and fifth, respectively, as the Athenas got off to a strong start as it looked for a comeback win over Pomona-Pitzer, which entered the day up 39 points.
That momentum continued into the second event, the 200-yard backstroke, as the Athenas finished 1-2-3. Mitchum won for the second straight time, finishing in 2:01.28, while Sammy Ennis, who captured the 100 back yesterday, was second in 2:03.92. Anna Werts meanwhile, earned All-SCIAC honors by just .02 with a 2:05.71 finish, just ahead of Isabel Swafford of Caltech.
After the backstroke, CMS and Pomona-Pitzer were within just a few points, but the Sagehens went 1-2-3 in their best event, the 100-yard freestyle to open a lead back up. Natalia Orbach-Mandel qualified for the finals and finished fifth for CMS, good for 16 points, but the Sagehens had 72 in the finals to create some separation in the team score again.
Augusta Lewis came in third place in 200-yard breaststroke to take All-SCIAC honors, but was unable to repeat as champion after winning it 2020. She ended up with seven individual titles in nine career races, sweeping both IM events all three years, and adding a 200 breast title as a sophomore two years ago. Kelly Prawira also qualified for the finals and came in fourth, while Rachel Wander was seventh and Riley Green was ninth.
CMS put two swimmers on the podium in the 200 fly, as Katelyn Dang finished in 2:03.96 to move into second in CMS history, just .16 behind the school record. Ava Sealander, meanwhile, finished third in 2:06.00 to earn All-SCIAC distinction.
Blake, Lexi Lee, El Masri and Dang finished first in the B relay in the 400-yard freestyle in the final event of the meet, but Pomona-Pitzer won the A race in meet record time to cap off their championship.
Several CMS women's swimmers will continue on to the NCAA Championships next month, including Lewis, who will be a strong contender nationally in the IM events. The qualifiers will be determined at a later time, after all the conference postseason events are completed.