March 2013 Aquatics Alumni Update

Swimmers do it again – Beat Chapman

The Caltech teams traveled to Chapman for a sprint meet with no diving on February 8th.  “We had to get this meet in between rain storms, hail and lighting” related captain Hanna Dodd.  The sun was shining, but a light, cold rain was hitting the pool.  The men looked good on paper but the Chapman Panthers were winning every close race.   Caltech men were behind 41 to 43 with just six events left.  “The team really needed to dig down and win the rest of the meet and the seniors lead the way” stated freshmen Patric Eck.  Both Tommy Kwong’s (1:05.33 100 Breast) and Jack Blackwood (22.89 200 Free Relay) won their last dual meet events and put in some good times.  Caltech took the lead 61 to 58 after the 100 free and then swept the 100 Backstroke with Matt Lappin, Jim Blackwood and Justin Koch fighting the wind for the sixteen points.  Tommy Kwong’s fast 100 breast and Kevin Yu’s 100 Fly (55.26) sealed the meet: Caltech 104 Chapman 69.  

The lady Techers just did not have the numbers to make much of a dent in the score, but the qualities of the swims were very high.  Jacqueline Masehi-Lano won the entire sprint races, 50 Free 25.81 and 100 Free 57.08, and looked good for the upcoming SCIAC Championship.  Other good swims were turned in by Karin Dowling, Hanna Dodd and Rachel Moore, all season bests.  Final Score: Chapman 143 and Caltech 50.    

 The Diving Weekend at the Rose Bowl

Caltech hosted the SCIAC Diving Prelims on February 9 & 10th at the Rose Bowl.  This consisted of one announcer and seven Caltech undergrads doing low-level math over and over again.  Where most schools would have been challenged over scoring, Caltech did a great job and all were thankful for our skills.  

Second year divers Ben Grabowski and Emily Shih dove well and each scored well. Both divers improved a lot and upped their list of dives, making coach Ute Zimmerman very happy.  Emily placed 15th on the 3m board and score some hard to find SCIAC points.  Ben placed 6th during the prelims and made it into the SCIAC Championship on both boards. (Top 8 men & women advance to Championship) Congratulations to Ben and Emily and Coach Zimmerman.

Outside at La Mirada for SCIAC Championship

Belmont Plaza is no more.  The indoor pool located in Long Beach, CA has been condemned for roof and structural problems.  The swim coaches looked all over Southern Cal for a pool that can hold nine men’s and women’s teams and all those 500 swimmers and divers.  “The Splash” located in La Mirada, Ca (near Disneyland) was the pick - but it was outdoors.  So with fingers-crossed the three-day swim meet began.

Oh, one more thing – the swim coaches voted that all relays be scored to sixteen places:  The “A” relays (first through ninth place) and a scoring “B” relay (tenth through sixteenth place).  Well that leaves two relays that will not be scoring any points (seventeen and eighteen).  Coach Dodd had a plan – to swim his fastest four swimmers as the “B” relay and the next fastest and the sure scoring as the “A” relay,  thus trying to stay out of the deadly seventeen and eighteen “non-scoring” spots.
Day One This strategy worked so well!  200 Free Relay:  Caltech women placed 9th and 16th  (out swam La Verne “B” while Pomona “B” got DQ’ed) and the men finished 8th and 15th (CIT “A” beat Chapman “A” and CIT “B” squad out swam Whittier & La Verne).  Later that day in the 400 Medley Relay the women’s “A” relay grabbed 8th place (La Verne jumped) and the “B” relay swam well but could only place 18th.   The men’s “A” relay grabbed 7th (Whittier & Chapman both jumped), while the “B” relay raced to 16th. Because of a bevy of false starts, stroke transgressions and jumping in the pool before the race was over,  Caltech was the only college not to be DQ’ed in a relay or individual event for the entire three day SCIAC Championship.  

The sophomore Jacqueline Masehi-Lano has been tapering well and set a new Caltech record in the 50 Free 25.06 and scored a point in the consolation final.  Diver Ben Grabowski hit all his 1m dives and moved up to challenge for third place, but ended up finishing fourth with 326.25 points.  So close!  At the end of day one – the Caltech men, 67 points, were ahead of Chapman and only 6 points from Whittier’s 73.  The women were a solid eighth at 47 points due to ”DQ happy“La Verne with 35 points.

Day Two

Individual swimming opened with freshmen Kevin Yu lowering his school record in the 100 Fly to 53.67 and receiving 14th place in the consolations.  Former record holder Hans Smith, finding out the news, emailed me saying, “OMG -- my name is going to be off the record board in another year”.  Do not worry Mr. Smith.  Jacqueline also broke her 100 fly record in prelims 58.74 and made it into the finals where she swam to 7th place.  Ben Grabowski dove another great list of dives and grabbed 4th place on 3m.  

The 200 Medley Relays again went as planned as the “B” relay of Emily Shih, Iris Liu, Jacqueline and Margaux Lopez swam just well enough and stayed just ahead of La Verne 2:04 to 2:08 to grab 16th place while the “A” relay improved to 8th place as Cal Lu “A” and Redlands “B” both were disqualify.  On the men’s side, Caltech placed 7th 2:05.50 with the “A” team of Patrick Rall, Matt Cedeno, David Flicker and Galen Gao.  The “B” team swam a 1:46.32 and placed 16th because La Verne tied a world record and got both their relays teams DQ’ed.  WOW!  It was the 800 Free Relay at the end of day two that was amazing – the women placed 9th just because we did not have enough ladies for all the relays.  The men’s “B” relay swam solid with Patric Eck 1:54.31, Tommy Kwong 1:55.47, Kevin Yu 1:56.26 and C.J. Culpepper 1:55.76 beating out La Verne “B”.  Caltech’s “A” squad of Cedric Flamant 2:12.95, Boyu Fan 2:11.20, Matt Lappin 2:02.34, and Galen Gao 2:13.23 were swimming in lane 1 and were about 100 yards behind the 8th place team.  Anchor swimmer Galen was putting in his best 200 of the year when Cal Lu and La Verne decided to jump in the pool.  Caltech would have won the event if the announcer had not screamed over the PA system that the race was not over. But Caltech did get the seventh place points.

Day Three

A thirty two year old record was broken on the third day of SCIAC competition as freshmen Kevin Yu fought off a cold wind and dropping temperatures to post a 2:00.54 for the 200 fly and grabbed 12th place.  The Caltech record was held by All American Chris McKinnon, swum at a dual meet against Claremont.  Jacqueline also swam the 200 Fly and got 8th place with a 2:12.99.  Distances were handled by C.J. Culpepper and his 1650 swim was an outstanding swim.  Even in poor weather, C.J. still posted an 18:29.05 for the swimming mile.  The last event was the exciting 400 Free Relay.  The Caltech women again received 9th and 16th thanks to a good swim from Margaux Lopez, Hanna Dodd, Alexandra Ilic, and Jacqueline Masehi-Lano which touched out La Verne “B”, while CMS “B” got disqualified.  The men did the same 9th and 16th and watched in amazement as La Verne “B” got themselves DQ’ed again!!

All went well and everyone swam great.  A total of 18 men and 11 women finished the season and enjoyed the refreshing water, teammates, competition and coaching staff.  Kudos to all!!  Coach Dodd

Women - Team Scores
Place     School                 Points
1     Claremont-Mudd-Scripps     919
2     Pomona-Pitzer         745. 50
3     University Of Redlands     486
4     Occidental College         467
5     Chapman University         369
6     California Lutheran University     287. 50
7     Whittier College         268
8     University of La Verne     156      La Verne has the SCIAC Champion 100 & 200
9     Caltech             130    backstroker worth 40 points herself

Men - Team Scores
Place     School                 Points
1     Claremont-Mudd-Scripps     1,170
2     University Of Redlands     713
3     Pomona-Pitzer         421
4     Occidental College         346
5     California Lutheran University     319
6     Whittier College         285
7     University of La Verne     215
8     Caltech             162
9     Chapman University         140

Retirement for Coach Dodd

Clinton Dodd retirement party will be May 17th 2013.  That is a Friday, late afternoon or early evening and could be your kickoff to “Caltech’s Seminar Weekend”!!  Can you make it?