PASADENA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2015) – Freshman Henry Baer (Lafayette, Calif. / Acalanes) recorded a season-best time to place a team-best second in the 100 Free as the Caltech men's swimming and diving team hosted Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges and Whittier College in a SCIAC double-dual meet on Saturday.
CMS and Whittier both topped the Beavers, with the Stags posting a 218-56 win and the Poets a tighter 151-108 victory.
Senior Benjamin Grabowski (Lake Forest Park, Wash. / Inglemoor) and freshman Alexander Bourzutschky (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) opened the day with fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the 3-meter diving, with Grabowski finishing a mere three points out of fourth place with 156.35. Bourzutschky came within just 1.7 points of last week's score despite failing a dive, highlighting his quickly improving consistency.
"Alex is showing an ability to learn very quickly and keeps improving," Diving Coach Ute Zimmerman said.
The 200 Medley Relay team of freshmen Philip An (Troy, Mich. / Troy) and Eric Lin (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair), sophomore Chris Bradley (Half Moon Bay, Calif. / Serra) and Baer led things off in the pool with a second-place finish against Whittier, taking four points to the Poets' 13. Both visitors picked up 13 points via two competitors in the 1000 Free and swept the top three places in the 200 Free, with junior Patric Eck (Fullerton, Calif. / Troy) the Beavers' top finisher in seventh place overall.
Back-to-back fifth places from An and junior Kevin Yu (Seattle, Wash. / Lakeside) in the 100 Back and 100 Breast did little to pull Caltech back into the mix, and another pair of 1-2 finishes in the 200 Fly gave CMS and Whittier another 13 points each.
Baer and Eck earned a combined three points in the 50 Free before Baer stepped up with Caltech's best swim of the day, placing second overall in the 100 Free with a 48.31 – shaving .24 off last week's season-best winning time – as Eck and Bradley added a combined three points against Whittier.
"Henry had a great swim in the 100 that gave us a much-needed boost of energy," Head Coach Jack Leavitt said.
Yu and An rode the momentum to a 3-4 finish overall in the 200 Back, beating out all three Whittier swimmers to take 13 points. Lin was then just touched out by a Poet in the 200 Breast and senior C.J. Culpepper (Leonardtown, Md. / Leonardtown) picked up a handful of points in the 500 Free. Yu kept his day going with a third-place finish in the 100 Fly, again beating out Whittier's top swimmer, this time by just .18, to take nine points in that matchup.
As 1-meter diving finished up, Grabowski and Bourzutschky picked up another big 13 points vs. Whittier, with Grabowski again finishing just behind CMS' third diver at 183.21 points while Bourzutschky posted a career-best 119.80. Grabowski scored a season-high 38 points on his inward somersault ½ twist, improving on last week's dive by a full 10 points and besting his overall score by nearly eight points overall.
"It was a fun meet with so many good divers," Zimmerman said. "Alex followed a great 3-meter in the morning with a personal best in the 1-meter. His and all our hard work is continuing to pay off."
Freshman Avikar Periwal (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) and Culpepper both went 2:16 in the 20 IM to place third and fourth, respectively, in each dual meet to round out the individual events.
"We swam some guys in off-events to get a different look and feel for some things," Leavitt said. "We're less than a month out from SCIACs, which is our main goal, so we want to keep preparing with that in the front of our minds."
Leavitt and the Beavers will return to the pool for their final away meet at Chapman University on Saturday, Jan. 31.