COMMERCE, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2018) – The Caltech men's swim & dive team sits in fourth place after opening the 2018 SCIAC Championships with a record-setting performance in the 200 medley relay, one year removed from the previous record.
Freshman Andy Rothstein (Potomac, Md. / Winston Churchill) joined forces with sophomore Thomas Gallup (Houston, Texas / Phillips Exeter Academy) and juniors Henry Steiner (Petaluma, Calif. / Casa Grande) and Jonathan Willett (Edina, Minn. / Edina) to finish in 1:32.79. The quartet's time topped the previous program record by nearly a full second, but perhaps just as noteworthy, the group finished less than half a second behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges for second place. Newcomer Rothstein got things started with the fastest 50 back split in team history (24.20), dropping his previous best time by just over six-tenths of a second. Rothstein was followed by Gallup, who swam the second fastest 50 breast leg in the race (25.25). The back end of the group, featuring Steiner's butterfly (22.67) and Willett's freestyle (20.67) to close the race, allowed the Beavers to maintain their third-place pace and give the men's team an edge going into the rest of the day. The elder trio, along with junior Dylan Lu (Kingwood, Texas / Kingwood), seized possession of the previous record at last year's SCIAC Championships.
Caltech yielded a similar performance out of its 'B' team in the second finals heat. Elder statesman Lu teamed with freshmen Michael Yao (San Ramon, Calif. / Dougherty Valley), JD Walker (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Grand Blanc) and Alex Janosi (Ann Arbor, Mich. / Dexter) to collect a third-place finish in the heat, good for the event's ninth-fastest time (1:34.88). Janosi's blazing 20.54 as the freestyle anchor came in as the second-fastest 50 free time between the two heats. Lu, meanwhile, set a new season best in the 50 back, dropping his time by just over a full second (24.75).
Janosi and Willett's strong freestyle showings spilled into another record-setting relay in the 800 Free. The duo formed the back end of a quartet with Rothstein and Steiner as the Beavers once again exceeded expectations. Rothstein's 1:44.94 split to start things off marked a four-second improvement on his 200 Free personal best this year before Janosi came in with a split (1:42.30) a full second faster than Willett's program record. The aforementioned junior proceeded to come one-hundredth of a second off of his record, which would have been yet another personal best for the men's team. Nevertheless, the Beavers' strong freestyle talent shone through, as the quartet managed to break last year's program relay record by over four seconds. Caltech's 'B' team consisting of Lu, Yao, senior Avikar Periwal (Potomac, Md. / Bishop Montgomery) and freshman Adam Kogan (Clifton Park, N.Y. / Shenendehowa East) claimed fourth in the 'B' heat. Periwal's leadoff leg bettered his previous best 200 free time by nearly five seconds while Kogan nabbed fourth place in the heat with an anchor leg faster than any other Beaver in the event at 1:42.10.
The Thursday meet schedule consists of the 500 Free, 200 IM, 50 Free, men's 1-meter prelims, women's 1-meter finals and the 200 Free Relay.