The University of Redlands swimming & diving teams orchestrated outstanding individual achievement that included multiple top-10 marks and high-caliber awards en route to honoring a talented class of seniors. Overall, the Bulldog men and women produced steady results throughout the season, which culminated in each team finishing fourth in the talent-rich Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
The Bulldogs dove into their SCIAC opener with a spirited performance against Caltech, as both sides walked away with sizable victories. With a 192-103 men's win and a 211-68 triumph from the women, Redlands garnered 24 first-place victories for the most since its Caltech sweep in November of 2015. The meet also featured 21 additional top-three finishes from the men and 19 for the women.
Emily Waddell (Bellevue, WA) commenced her senior campaign with a strong showing against the Beavers. In addition to standing atop the podium in the 100 Free with a time of 56:11, she led off one of the women's seven event-sweeps, with classmate Olivia Rock (Boulder, CO), first-year Olivia Cano (Dublin, CA), and junior Wendy McAleer (Simi Valley, CA) quickly following within the next two-and-a-half seconds in that order. On the diving boards, sophomore Sami Scarano (Boulder, CO) emerged victorious in both events with marks of 256.60 off the one-meter and 240.30 off the three-meter.
On the men's side, the Bulldogs impressed in diving as well, as sophomore Jacob Miner (Antioch, CA) conquered the field with top scores of 277.20 and 279.55 in the one-meter and three-meter competition, respectively. First-year diver Max Spiegel (Englewood, CA) debuted in the Maroon and Gray with a pair of second-place finishes with scores of 233.55 and 256.45. In the pool, senior Brian Wright (Kent, WA) finished where he left off the previous year with three first-place finishes in the meet. He won the 200 Free (1:45.27), the 200 Breast (2:10.25), and the 200 IM (1:59.45) en route to a Bulldog team victory.
Amidst a loss to SCIAC foe, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, Redlands benefitted from two gold-standard finishes by Wright and one event win by sophomore Julia Hagenbaumer (Naperville, IL).
The Bulldogs immediately put together a solid rebuttal with quality times at the 2017 Winter Invite. Over the course of the three-day meet, the Bulldog men surfaced as the second-best team overall in a competitive field with a total of 1,344.50 points, which was the best among four SCIAC schools in attendance. The women produced a fifth-place effort in a tough field that included three NCAA Division II teams; however, they finished second amongst SCIAC schools.
Wright continued to push himself as he dropped four seconds off his 200 IM time for a winning mark of 1:55.02. He went on to enjoy victories in both the 100 Breast (58.58) and the 200 Breast (2:08.83). Before the end of the meet, Wright also contributed to four first-place relays. He joined sophomore Matt Skinner (Lakewood, CO), first-year Eric Forbes (Ladera Ranch, CA), and junior Aaron Bauer (Garden Grove, CA) for the fastest 200 Free Relay of the meet (1:25.96) before teaming up with senior Corey Winter (Ripon, CA), Skinner, and Bauer in a 3:31.34, first-place effort in the 400 Medley Relay. Bauer, sophomore Carson Brett (Exeter, CA) first-year Rafael Zasas (Johannesburg, South Africa), and Wright came away with a victory in the 800 Free Relay with a time of 3:11.05, which was seven seconds faster than the second-place quartet.
During the Winter Invite, the women also recorded a number of finishes in the top five, including first-year Cano's third-place showing in the 200 Breast, as she touched the wall in 2:28.56. Cano additionally swam the 400 IM in 4:47.32, which landed her in fifth place, while classmate Karina Lanning (Cupertino, CA) was just over a second outside of a third-place finish with a time of 2:11.50. The Maroon and Gray also came just 1.02 seconds shy of a podium appearance in the 200 Medley Relay, as Cano, Hagenbaumer, Lanning, and Rock finished fourth with a time of 1:54.65. Finally, the quality quartet of Cano, Rock, Lanning, and McAleer uncorked a time of 3:44.99 for fourth place in the 400 Free Relay.
A few days later, the Bulldogs earned mixed results in SCIAC tri-meet action against Chapman University and Occidental College. The men took the only Redlands victory of the meet, coming away with a 182-116 decision over the Panthers. The Maroon and Gray highlighted the day with several top-three finishes across the board. Miner paced the divers with a 305.45-point showing on the three-meter while garnering second on the one-meter board with a final score of 258.25. For men's swimming, senior Henry Stuckenschmidt (Fresno, CA) sat atop the podium of the 1,650 Free, as he led the field with a 17:04.73 time, while Wright registered the only sub-minute mark in the 100 Breast for a winning time of 59.95.
Despite the losses, the Bulldog women gained quality marks from diver Scarano, who flew to second place off both boards with scores of 239.40 (3m) and 272.25 (1m). Waddell impressed with a gold-medal finish in the 200 Free by touching the wall in 1:59.03. She also took second in the 50 Free (25.16) before ending her day with a third-place result in the 100 Free (55.41).
In late January, the Bulldogs competed at the Thompson Aquatic Center for the first time of the season. Although the teams fell to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, they rebounded with strong home wins over Whittier College on Senior Day. Both the men and women put on a show, winning a combined 19 events to go along with 34 total second- or third-place finishes.
For the men, Wright, Forbes, Skinner, and sophomore Michael Talag (Lakewood, CA) combined forces for a first-place finish in the 400 Medley Relay by touching the wall in 3:35.37. Winter led first-years Zach Glenn (Mill Valley, CA) and Jordan Convery (Fairview, OR), and sophomore Carson Brett (Exeter, CA) to a second-place finish (3:42.55), while Stuckenschmidt and senior Tristan Wheeler (Wellington, FL) joined junior Lucas Ulmer (Camas, WA) and first-year John Nelson (Parker, CO) to complete the 1-2-3 sweep of the 400 Medley Relay with a time of 3:48.47. Wright capitalized on his momentum by speeding to first place in the 50 Free with a time of 21.80. He then helped the 200 Free Relay of Bauer, Skinner, and Talag to a gold-medal finish in 1:27.07. Stuckenschmidt capped off a solid day by winning the 500 Free in 4:55.55.
The Bulldog senior women also dominated, starting with Waddell, who garnered top finishes in the 50 Free with a 24.86 time and in the 100 Free at 54.80. The seniors cruised in the relays, as Waddell and Rock headed the 200 Free Relay of junior IvyLee Senn (Novato, CA) and McAleer that out-touched the competition in 1:41.99. Senior Alex Amaro (Sugar Land, Texas) led her team of sophomore Taylor Cadile (San Jose, CA), first-year Cassy Hauserman (South Elgin, IL), and sophomore Marie Sandstorm (Rhinelander, WI) to a second-place finish with a 1:49.49 time.
With the SCIAC Championships just around the corner, the Bulldogs geared up for one final tri-meet on the road against the University of La Verne and Cal Lutheran University. The men cruised to a 191-38 victory over the Leopards but came up short in a tough 118-119 battle against the Kingsmen. The women also split their results, as they emerged victorious in a 155-77 decision over La Verne but were edged out by CLU in a 117-123 loss.
Headlining the men's performance, Miner spearheaded a diving sweep by taking the victory on the one-meter and three-meter boards with respective scores of 226.75 and 265.70, while Spiegel followed in second on both boards with scores of 218.45 and 220.60. Stuckenschmidt completed the sweep on the one-meter board (162.80), as senior Payden Daly (Portland, OR) finished off a three-meter sweep with a 135.80 mark. The women's team also performed well in the diving competition, as Scarano notched a pair of first-place results with tallies of 229.95 (3m) and 226.90 (1m). In the pool, Bauer recorded the only individual event win for the men by touching the wall first in the 50 Free with a time of 21.02, which landed him ninth all-time in Redlands history. For the women, Hagenbaumer unleashed a winning time of 1:10.15 in the 100 Breast, which was nearly three seconds ahead of the competition.
Eleven days later, the Bulldogs took to the water for the SCIAC Championships where the teams successfully shifted the Redlands records books in multiple ways.
Setting the tone for the four-day event, Miner shattered the school's three-meter diving record with a final score of 520.30, which guaranteed his spot at the upcoming NCAA Diving Regional Championships.
The Maroon and Gray also dominated the relays, as four quartets carved a spot into the Bulldogs' all-time top-10 lists with stellar times. The women's 800 Free Relay of Cano, Senn, Cadile, and Waddell surfaced with the sixth-fastest time in Redlands history while shaving off more than 20 seconds from its seed time. Furthermore, the women's 200 Medley Relay of Senn, Hagenbaumer, McAleer, and Rock now sits eighth all-time with a mark of 1:50.33. Also newly ranked at eighth all-time are both the men's 800 Free Relay (6:53.85) and the men's 200 Medley Relay (1:34.77). Respectively, these quartets include Wright, Zasas, junior Jack Ivey (Albuquerque, NM), and Bauer, as well as Nelson, Forbes, Skinner, and Talag.
The Bulldogs' record books continued to be realigned in day two as first-year August Key (Albuquerque, NM) cut three seconds off her 200 IM time to finish third (2:07.97) at the meet and third all-time at Redlands. This landed her among the All-SCIAC honorees as well. Momentum continued for the Maroon and Gray, as Cadile won the 500 Free "B" final with a time of 5:08.39, which was the fourth-fastest in program history. The 200 Free Relay of Wright, Brett, Talag, and Bauer glided to a time of 1:23.68, which ranks third all-time.
The third day of the SCIAC Championships was much of the same, as the Bulldogs' records continued to evolve. Convery maneuvered his way to a first-place finish in the 400 IM "B" final with a time of 4:08.25 to put him eighth all-time in Redlands history. Nelson continued a solid inaugural season with the team by swimming to a 52.17 time in the 100 Back, which was the fourth-fastest time in Bulldog history. For the women, Key moved up to third all-time in the 100 Fly as she touched the wall in 57.09 for third place in the "B" final, before Hagenbaumer finished fifth in the 100 Breast with a time of 1:06.33 to land third all-time at Redlands.
On the final day of the meet, the men and women each sealed fourth-place finishes in the SCIAC standings, with the men securing 502 points and the women tallying 491 overall.
Among the highlights, the women saw McAleer speed to an All-SCIAC time of 2:07.74 in the 200 Fly for a spot on the podium in third place. Hagenbaumer won the "B" final of the 200 Breast in 2:25.84, which stands as the fourth-fastest time in Redlands history. The men's side won three of the "B" finals, including Brett, who touched the wall in 46.51 to win the 100 Free. Wright won the 200 Breast consolation in 2:08.04, while Forbes added a second-place effort in the 200 Breast "B" final after a 2:09.75 performance.
The Bulldogs took their talents to San Antonio, TX, as Miner, Spiegel, and Scarano each qualified for the NCAA Division III Regional Diving Championships. Day one saw Miner garner 400.65 points off the three-meter board to take sixth place, while Spiegel earned 353.35 points for eighth place in his NCAA debut. Scarano recorded 321.70 points on the women's side to finish 13th. All three divers returned for day two of action on the one-meter boards, with Miner registering the highest mark for the Bulldogs at 365.20 points for seventh place. Spiegel wrapped up his inaugural appearance with a 10th-place showing after grabbing 337.55 points. Finally, Scarano concluded the season with a final score of 313.20 to take 15th in her second NCAA diving regional appearance.
Due to finishing among the top eight, Miner and Spiegel each came home with All-Region honors.
In addition to success in the water, the Bulldog swimming & diving teams showed exemplary performance in the classroom, with each squad earning College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association (CSCAA) recognition among the Scholar All-America list.
With plenty of individual accomplishments, awards, and records, the Bulldogs clearly capitalized off their talent for quality results in 2017-18. Although the void left by a talented senior class is evident, the Redlands swimming & diving teams hold high hopes with the return of an experienced corps of competitors in 2018-19. With Head Coach Leslie Whittemore leading the charge, the Bulldogs anticipate raising the bar of success to new levels in the SCIAC and beyond.