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Augusta Lewis in action at the NCAA Championships (photo by Aaron Gray)
Augusta Lewis in action at the NCAA Championships (photo by Aaron Gray)

Five Athena Records Set, Three Earn First-Team All-America, at NCAA Swim and Dive Championships

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's swimming and diving team saw five program records set, as well as three different swimmers earn first-team All-America honors, including three times from senior Augusta Lewis, to earn 11th place at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships from Wednesday-Saturday at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI.

Lewis earned All-America honors in the 400-yard individual medley (second), the 200-yard individual medley (third) and the 200-yard breaststroke (fourth) to earn positions in the top-half of the eight-swimmer All-America podium in all three. Ava Sealander added first-team All-America honors in the 100-yard butterfly and Jameson Mitchum captured it in the 200-yard backstroke. 

In addition to the new program records set by Lewis in both IM events, and Mitchum in the 200 back, Katelyn Dang also set a new CMS record in the 200 fly, and Ella Blake improved her program-best time in the 200 free. 

Lewis finished off her stellar career, which was interrupted by a pandemic which cost her two trips to the NCAA Championships, by finishing in the top four in all three of her individual events. She graduates as a seven-time SCIAC champion in three years of competing (six in the two IM events and one in the 200 breast, with no 2021 league championship held), as well as a two-time SCIAC Swimmer of the Year Award winner. 

Lewis' 400 IM time at nationals was a 4:18.06, which trimmed six-tenths of a second off her own program record, and was just 1.23 seconds off the winning time from Molly Craig of Williams, who trained with Lewis this summer in San Diego. Her 200 IM time of 2:01.21 also eclipsed her own program record, and saw her barely edge out Sophia Verkleeren of Williams in a tight battle for third by eight-hundredths of a second. Lewis had been eighth in the prelims to take the last spot in the finals, and then swam 1.76 seconds faster in the evening session to move up to the third-place spot. 

On the final day, Lewis made one final trip to the podium by coming in fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:15.62, improving her own personal best, which is the second-best time in CMS history behind only Annie Perizzolo, who won the national championship in it in 2010 with a 2:14.83. 

Sealander, meanwhile, earned their way onto the podium by reaching the finals of the 100 fly, tallying the seventh-best time in prelims and then earning sixth in the final. Their top time of 54.92 moves them into second place in school history behind Dang, who had a 54.76 at the SCIAC Championships. 

Mitchum achieved a significant milestone on her way to All-America honors in the 200 back, as she became the first Athena to break the two-minute barrier. She nearly did it prelims, clocking a 2:00.06 to improve on her own personal best, but then she broke it in the evening session, swimming a 1:59.91 to come in seventh place. 

Blake earned 10th place in the 200-yard freestyle by coming in second in the consolation finals, but improved on her own CMS record in the process by touching the wall in 1:50.78 and earning honorable mention All-America honors. Dang swam a 2:02.58 in the 200 fly to finish 11th and move into first place all-time in school history to earn honorable mention All-America distinction, improving by 1:32 seconds after earning the last spot in the top 16 in the prelims by just six-hundredths of a second. 

Mitchum earned honorable mention All-America in two other individual events, to go along with her first-team honors in the 200 back. She was a tenth-place finisher in the 200 IM in 2:03.59, moving into second place in school history behind Lewis, and also came in 11th in the 100 back in 55.91 seconds. 

Izzy Doud earned honorable mention honors in both the one-meter dive, finishing 14th with a score of 380.10 in the finals, and the three-meter dive, scoring a 410.65 to come in 16th.

CMS earned honorable mention All-America honors in the 200-yard medley relay by winning the consolation heat in 1:43.55, as Mitchum, Rachel Wander, Dang and Sealander edged out a team from Johns Hopkins by two-hundredths of a second to win the race, improving from 15th place in prelims to earn ninth. The 400-yard medley relay came in tenth, with Mitchum, Lewis, Sealander and Natalia Orbach-Mandel finishing in 3:46.02. 

The 800-yard freestyle relay team also took home honorable mention All-America distinction, as Lewis, Orbach-Mandel, Leila El Masri and Blake finished in 7:31.24 to come in 11th place. The 400-yard freestyle relay team ended the meet with another honorable mention award, finishing 12th as Blake, Sealander, Dang and Orbach-Mandel swam a 3:26.55, missing the CMS record by just .23 seconds. 

The 11th place team finish for CMS was the program's highest since the 2012 team came in ninth place. The 156.50 points that the Athenas earned was also the highest point total since 2010, when they earned a program-record 177 on their way to a fifth-place finish.

CMS will look to build off this year's performance, although the graduation of Lewis will leave a big hole to fill, as well as that of Sealander, Wander, El Masri and Orbach-Mandel, who all scored as individuals and/or in relays at this year's meet. Mitchum, Blake, Dang, Doud, Kelly Prawira and Gracey Hiebert will be among the top returners next season as they build on their first trips to nationals this year.