The University of Redlands swimming & diving teams stumbled to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday, with the women losing by a score of 95-148 and the men coming up short in a 58-185 decision. During Senior Day at the Thompson Aquatic Center, Redlands honored its fourth-year competitors prior to registering season-best marks in the final dual meet prior to the upcoming Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championships.
The Redlands women started the meet with a phenomenal 400 Medley Relay, winning the race in season-best form. The quartet of senior Caitlin Michaels (Hanover, NH), sophomore Rachel Weinstein (Coupeville, WA), senior Lauren Zehner (Portland, OR) and freshman Samantha Ettinger (Hartford, CT) combined to touch the wall first at 4:06.97.
Lauren Zehner was back at it a few events later when she uncorked a first-place time of 1:57.82 in the 200 Free, which was another season-best mark for her.
Once again dominant in the freestyle events, sophomore Chandra Lukes (Escondido, CA) took medalist honors in both the 50 Free (24.81) and 100 Free (54.73).
Fellow sophomore Haley Thiltgen (San Diego, CA) swam incredibly well in the 400 IM, recording a season-best time of 4:46.02 to take third place. She just missed out on the top spot, as the top-three finishers all clocked in within one second of each other.
Elsewhere, Michaels and Weinstein both swam well individually for Redlands on the day. Michaels touched the wall with a season-best time of 2:13.85 in the 200 Back for third place, while Weinstein also put forth her best mark of the season in the 200 Breast, clocking in a second-place time of 2:31.75.
The foursome of sophomore Margo Macready (Redlands, CA), senior Shirin Sedaghat (Boulder, CO), freshman Lauren Robeznieks (Tigard, OR) and Lukes combined for a 400 Free Relay time of 3:43.13, just missing out on top honors in the event.
In the diving events, senior Lindsey Zehner (Portland, OR) took second place in the one-meter event with a score of 203.25, while freshman Akari Matsumoto (Redmond, WA) nabbed third (164.70). In the three-meter dive, Matsumoto finished in second place (181.55), just beating out sophomore teammate Erica Pieramico (Oceanside, CA), who scored 181.15.
The U of R men's best relay of the day came in the 400 Medley race. The quartet of sophomore Jeff Depew (Naperville, IL), junior Clint Freeman (Brentwood, CA), senior Chris Depew (Naperville, IL) and junior Brent Reed (Dublin, CA) put together a season-best time of 3:29.74, placing them second in the results.
The individual highlight of the day for the Bulldog men came when J. Depew uncorked his best time of the year in the 200 Back. Touching the wall at 1:54.57 placed him at the top of the podium, surpassing the CMS runner-up by nearly three seconds.
Against stiff competition in the 1650 Free, sophomore David Sekula (LaGrange, IL) came in third with a solid time of 17:08.19.
The 400 IM saw junior David Ortyn (Bainbridge Island, WA) record his best mark of the year, touching the wall in a third-place-time of 4:15.43.
Elsewhere, C. Depew improved upon his time in the 200 Fly by finishing in third at 1:58.42. Additionally, Freeman and sophomore Eric LoPrete (Beaverton, OR) garnered third-place times for the Maroon and Gray, with Freeman competing in the 100 Free (47.93) and LoPrete in the 500 Free (4:52.65). For LoPrete, it was a season-best mark.
Junior Eli Niebuhr (Las Vegas, NV) led the way for the Bulldog dive team, garnering two second-place finishes. In the one-meter, he scored 262.40 points and then tallied a score of 264.40 in the three-meter.
Redlands and the rest of the conference schools look forward to the SCIAC Diving Prelims, which begin on Saturday, Feb. 9 and continue through Sun., Feb. 10 at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena. The SCIAC Championships for both swimming & diving will take place at SPLASH! La Mirada on Sun., Feb. 17 through Tues., Feb. 19. Redlands will serve as host to the regular-season finale. For more information, please visit http://www.goredlands.com/sports/swimdive/2012-13/general_SCIAC_Swim_Champs.