POMONA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2015) – The Caltech men's swimming and diving team opened SCIAC competition in a tri-meet against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and the University of La Verne on Saturday morning. The Beavers came up just short against the Leopards, 160-131, and fell to the Sagehens, 211-79.
After picking up some points in the 400 Medley Relay, the Beavers struck big in the 1000 Free as freshman Avikar Periwal (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) and senior C.J. Culpepper (Leonardtown, Md. / Leonardtown) finished second and third, respectively, to take top points against the University of La Verne. Junior Matthew Cedeno (Virginia Beach, Calif. / Ocean Lakes) also out-touched La Verne's third swimmer to grab another point while helping to cancel out Pomona-Pitzer's first-place finish.
Junior Patric Eck (Fullerton, Calif. / Troy) hung right with the leaders in the 200 Free in the next event but was just out-touched by one swimmer from each competitor, placing third overall, while sophomore Chris Bradley (Half Moon Bay, Calif. / Serra) finished just ahead of La Verne's third swimmer to grab the last available point in the event. The Beavers went 2-3 again in the 100 Back with freshman Henry Baer (Lafayette, Calif. / Acalanes) and junior Kevin Yu (Seattle, Wash. / Lakeside), and freshman Philip An (Troy, Mich. / Troy) placed sixth, beating out another La Verne swimmer by less than a second.
The Beavers' output slowed over the next three events, as freshman Eric Lin (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) came in fifth behind a pair of swimmers from both opponents in the 100 Breast and Yu followed with an eighth-place finish, with Cedeno and senior Matthew Lappin (Westminster, Md. / Westminster) earning a point in each event. Baer and Eck came up on the short end of a 0.93-second spread between first and sixth place in the 50 Free to place fifth and sixth, falling behind a trio of Sagehens but just a single Leopard. Senior Benjamin Grabowski (Lake Forest Park, Wash. / Inglemoor) then placed third among the three competing divers taking second-place points in both dual meets.
Baer finally gave the Beavers a shot in the arm with a second-place finish in the 100 Free, with Eck also coming in sixth to take another point against Pomona-Pitzer and two against La Verne, with Bradley also edging out a Leopard to hand Caltech a win in the event. Lin then took out his 200 Breast a full second faster than his 100 Breast time earlier in the meet, and although he could not quite hold the pace finished a solid second, beating out all three Sagehens breaststrokers, with Lapping placing seventh to score a point in each meet. Freshman Ishwar Subramanian (Melbourne, Australia / American Embassy School, New Delhi) and junior Galen Gao (Irving, Texas / St. Mark's School) came in seventh and eighth in the 200 Breast to earn three more points.
Caltech got back on track again in the 500 Free as Lin, Culpepper and Periwal taking fifth, sixth and seventh and beating out every Leopard swimmer to narrow the gap by the maximum 13 points, with Periwal just out-touching La Verne's top swimmer by .13 of a second. Bradley then stepped up in an off-event to score in the 100 Fly, along with freshman Richard May (Guilford, Conn. / Choate Rosemary Hall).
Grabowski and freshman Alexander Bourzutschky (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) picked up some points on Pomona-Pitzer with second and fourth place finishes on the 3-meter board, and in the final swimming event, Yu finished sixth with An and Gao taking ninth and 10th to earn points against La Verne in the 200 IM.
Caltech closed out the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 200 Free Relay, beating out La Verne's "A" relay by .06 of a second. Eck took out the leadoff leg faster than anyone in the pool, but the Sagehens teams picked up some serious time over the middle 100, leaving Baer well behind them but just a hair shy of La Verne. The rookie took care of business, outpacing his foe by .15 of a second with the second-fastest final leg in the pool at a 21.78.
Head Coach Jack Leavitt and the Beavers will host their first meet of the season against SCIAC rival Occidental College at Pasadena City College on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 11:00 a.m. Please note that this represents a change in the original time and location of the meet, with diving taking place offsite at a different time due to repairs to the Caltech competition pool.