Mudders Make Waves at SCIAC Championship

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams earned SCIAC titles this winter at the league’s annual championship meet Feb. 20-23, taking back the team crown from Pomona-Pitzer, which won both last year. Harvey Mudd student athletes made significant contributions to both the Athenas’ and Stags’ first-place finishes.

Ella Blake ’23 was named the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year after a big weekend, taking first place in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle, while finishing second in the 1650-yard freestyle. The runner-up finisher in the 1650 was fellow Mudder first-year Gracey Hiebert ’23, while another Harvey Mudd rookie, Arisa Cowe ’23, came in fifth, giving Harvey Mudd first-years three of the top five finishes in the longest distance race of the weekend.

In addition to finishing in the top two, Hiebert and Blake both earned individual qualifications for the NCAA Division III Championships and will be among the 18-member CMS contingent (11 Athenas, seven Stags) heading to the NCAA Division III Championships in Greensboro, N.C., March 18–21.

Natalia Orbach-Mandel ’21 was All-SCIAC in both the 100-yard freestyle (finishing second) and the 200-yard freestyle (finishing third) and just missed in the 50-yard freestyle (finishing fourth). She also anchored two CMS relay champions in the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard medley relay and will be a part of five relay teams at the NCAA Division III Championships. Rachel Wander ’22 was All-SCIAC in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing second, while first-year diver Makenna Parkinson ’23 earned a fourth-place finish in the three-meter dive.

The Stags, meanwhile, won a close 14-point victory over Pomona-Pitzer where every point was valuable, and Harvey Mudd student athlete contributions were pivotal over the entire weekend. Marco Conati ’21 repeated as the SCIAC Champion in the 100-yard butterfly in a new meet record and was part of a record-setting 200-yard medley relay team as well, which was anchored by Andreas Roeseler ’21. Conati also came in third in the 100-yard freestyle for All-SCIAC honors, while Roeseler was All-SCIAC in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing third. Conati and Roeseler will be heading to the NCAA Division III Championships as well, where they will compete on all three CMS relay teams.

Sean Hoerger ’21 and Henry Limm ’20 were both All-SCIAC winners in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing second and third, respectively, and sharing the championship podium. Nathan Luis ’23 was All-SCIAC in the 100-yard butterfly and Dave Makhervaks ’20 was All-SCIAC in the 100-yard backstroke, with both finishing third, while Luis was part of a 400-yard freestyle relay team that qualified for the NCAA Championships and will be joining Conati and Roeseler in Greensboro.

In addition to the All-SCIAC winners, Nick Tan ’22, Alec Vercruysse ’23 and Matthew Waddell ’22 reached the finals in multiple events to help give CMS more points in a meet that was decided by the equivalent of one seventh-place finish. Tan was sixth in the 100 back (15 points) and 200 back (15 points), as well as seventh in the 200 IM (14 points). Waddell was seventh in the 200 fly and ninth in the 1650, earning 26 points total, while Vercruysse was sixth in the 200 IM and 100 breast and seventh in the 200 breast for 44 points.