WHITTIER, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2015) – Freshman Henry Baer (Lafayette, Calif. / Acalanes) and the Caltech men's swimming and diving team took their season total to six broken records as they set another two marks on Day Two of the SCIAC Championships on Friday.
The Beavers are currently tied for eighth place with the University of La Verne on 112 points and trail Chapman University by just 11.
Baer moved up two spots in the finals to place 16th overall and second among all freshmen, then led off the night-ending 200 Free Relay with a new program record 21.57, coming in just .04 under the previous mark set in 1995 – one year before he was even born. The rookie's leadoff leg was only the beginning for the squad as sophomore Chris Bradley (Half Moon Bay, Calif. / Serra) posted a career-best 22.51, followed by junior Kevin Yu (Seattle, Wash. / Lakeside) slapping down a 22.26 and junior Patric Eck (Fullerton, Calif. / Troy) bringing it home in a 22.00 for a 1:28.34, beating the previous mark by almost two whole seconds.
Earlier in the afternoon, senior Benjamin Grabowski (Lake Forest Park, Wash. / Inglemoor) placed 10th and freshman Alex Bourzutschky (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) finished 12th on the 3-meter diving board, combining for a 20-point haul as Grabowski scored a 358.15 and Bourzutschky a 243.85.
The day began with the 500 Free prelims, where freshman Avikar Periwal (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) and senior C.J. Culpepper (Leonardtown, Md. / Leonardtown) combined to drop a whopping 36 seconds as both cruised below the five-minute barrier for the first time in their careers. Periwal sat back early before making his move at the final 150, nearly negative-splitting the final 100 to clock in at a 4:58.18 – good for 29th place – while Culpepper split seven of his 10 50s within half a second to finish in 4:58.59, placing 31st. The senior later time-trialed the race at the end of the session, dropping yet another second for a 4:57.60. Senior Juan Adame (Sylmar, Calif. / Sylmar Math, Science and Tech) also shaved an impressive 40 seconds off his previous best, touching the wall in 7:30.76.
Freshman Eric Lin (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) just missed out on a finals swim in the 200 IM, cutting three seconds to finish in 2:00.63 for 23rd place, and Yu chopped off four seconds to come in at 2:04.54. Freshmen Richard May (Guilford, Conn. / Choate Rosemary Hall) and Philip An (Troy, Mich. / Troy) and juniors Galen Gao (Irving, Texas / St. Mark's School) and Matthew Cedeno (Virginia Beach, Calif. / Ocean Lakes) all kept the momentum going with time drops as well, including a six-second improvement by Cedeno.
Baer then stepped up for the 50 Free and qualified for finals by the slimmest of margins, finishing .01 ahead of the first alternate with a season-best 21.75. Eck was not far behind, placing 30th with a season-best 22.42, while Bradley came in 46th with a 23.27 and sophomore Jordan Bonilla (Weston, Fla. / Cypress Bay) cut nearly a full second to record a 26.55.
Day Three prelims begin at 9:00 a.m., with finals set for 5:30 p.m.