In the biggest meet of the year, both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams concluded their 2004-2005 campaigns with strong performances.
They brought home an individual championship and numerous school records this past weekend at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships at the Cerritos Aquatics Center in Cerritos.
Highlighting the weekend was junior Jared Carvitto, who captured the 200-yard breaststroke crown on the final day of the championships. Carvitto won the race in a time of 2:07.08 to help pace the Leopards to a fifth-place team finish with 183 points. Carvitto is sitting on the bubble waiting to see if his time qualifies for the national meet on March 17-19 in Holland, Michigan.
The University of Redlands narrowly won the meet finishing with 542 points. Last year, as a team, the Leopards finished fourth at the SCIAC championships.
“I just wanted to swim the best I could,” Carvitto said. “I am happy with the way I ended my season and now I hope I qualify for the national championships, I just have to wait and see.”
Carvitto also finished second in the 100-yard breastroke with a time of 59.21 on the second day of competition. Manuel Sanchez from Whittier College was unstoppable as he finished well ahead of Carvitto in a meet record time of 57.30.
“I think the meet went well,” head coach John Hallman said. “For what we had we did outstanding, to see some of our kids do well was just amazing. We had a lot of school records and it was a good way to end the season.”
Other notable performances on the men’s team were turned in by junior Justin Haas who broke school records every time he touched the water. Haas broke the 1650-yard freestyle record in a time of 16:56.98 and the 1000-yard freestyle. The 1000 record he broke in the same race he broke the 1650. Haas also broke his own school record in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:45.05.
“I think this meet in particular always brings the team together,” Haas said. “Everybody cheers for everybody, and with all of my teammates cheering for me that was the main contributing factor that led to the performance that I had. It was cool to have the team come together like that.”
On the women’s side, the Leopards finished with 282 team points good enough for sixth place.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps swam away with the meet scoring an outrageous 993-team points.
Despite the Leopards injury problems, the women swam some outstanding performances including a school record in the 200-medley relay. The quartet of Jessica Egbert, Laura Larsen, Morgan Delaney and Jenny Jones smashed the previous record finishing fourth in a time of 1:53.
Other top finishers for the Leopards included Egbert placing third in the 100-backstroke (1:01.27) and seventh in the 50-freestyle (25.33). Larsen also finished with a pair of top seven finishes placing sixth in the 100-butterfly (1:01.48) and seventh in the 100-freestyle (55.51).
Jonathan Corral can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.