COMMERCE, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2018) – Sophomore Thomas Gallup (Houston, Texas / Phillips Exeter Academy), freshman Alex Janosi (Ann Arbor, Mich. / Dexter) and the men's 400 Medley Relay team consisting of Gallup and juniors Dylan Lu (Kingwood, Texas / Kingwood), Henry Steiner (Petaluma, Calif. / Casa Grande) and Jonathan Willett (Edina, Minn. / Edina) found the podium for Caltech men's swim & dive on a wildly successful third day of the 2018 SCIAC Championships.
The men currently sit sixth in the meet standings, but will have a chance to advance position as Caltech trails Occidental College by just 2.5 points.
The men's loaded cast of swimmers got things started in 100 Fly, which saw Steiner qualify for the 'A' final by virtual of a near-identical finish (50.66) to his preliminary time (50.65) and freshman JD Walker (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Grand Blanc) took third in the 'B' final. Walker beat out swimmers from Oxy, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges and Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, picking up seven points while improving his top time in the event by nearly three seconds. The ensuing men's event saw Janosi take to the pool for his first SCIAC final in the men's 200 Free after smashing the program record in the morning session. The freshman made a big impression on the rest of the conference, finishing runner-up to four-time champion Mark Hallman of Pomona-Pitzer and nabbing his first career NCAA 'B' cut with a 1:39.96. The fastest final split of the race, however, belonged to teammate and fellow freshman Adam Kogan (Clifton Park, N.Y. / Shenendehowa East), who took home a seventh-place finish over swimmers from California Lutheran University and Pomona-Pitzer. with a 1:42.43, just a tenth of a second behind his prelim time (1:42.31).
Gallup's turn came up next for Caltech in the 100 Breast, which he entered as the reigning SCIAC champion from a year ago. Gallup came three tenths of a second off his Caltech record time but still managed to claim second place, finishing the race in 55.42 to put himself in solid position for another NCAA Championships invitation. Junior Adam Dai (Santa Barbara, Calif. / Dos Pueblos), meanwhile, competed in the 'B' final of the same event after setting a new PR by .01 in the morning (1:00.51). Caltech also saw some representation in the 'B' final of the 100 Back. Freshman Andy Rothstein (Potomac, Md. / Winston Churchill), who led off for the Beavers when they took third in the 200 Medley Relay on Day 1, improved on his 18th-place seeding with a second-place finish in the 'B' final (11th overall) with a program-record 52.04, bettering his preliminary time by more than one second and adding another school record to the collection.
Caltech closed the night in the 400 Medley Relay, which saw the Beavers take one more trip to the podium. The previously mentioned quartet of Lu, Gallup, Steiner and Willett returned to SCIAC prominance, matching their third-place finish from last year. Lu led off with a new PR in the 100 Back (52.35) that would have beaten his own previous record if not for Rothstein, who lowered his mark to an incredible 51.48 on the 'B' relay that placed fourth in its heat. Lu's swim set the tone for Gallup to lay down the second-fastest breast split in the race (54.82). Steiner and Willett followed with strong marks in the 100 Fly and 100 Free respectively. Willett touched the wall for the last time at 3:23.19, which proved to be enough for the quartet to narrowly edge last year's program record and secure the third-place finish.
Earlier in the day, freshmen Michael Yao (San Ramon, Calif. / Dougherty Valley) and John Wang (Louisville, Ky. / Phillips Exeter Acad.) trimmed .7 and 1.25 from their seed times in the 100 Fly, respectively, while Willett barely missed out on qualifying for finals in the 200 Free and senior Avikar Periwal (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) set a new PR by roughly four seconds (1:44.83) in the same event. Senior Vishveshwar Subramanian (Melbourne, Australia / American Embassy School, New Delhi), sophomore Ayan Bandyopadyay (San Jose, Calif. / Bellarmine Coll. Prep) and junior James Deacon (Santa Barbara, Calif. / Homeschooled) each dropped significant time in the 200 Free as well. Yao later came up just short of the finals in the 100 Breast as well, with Wang shaving another three seconds and senior Alex Bourzutschky (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) just over two. Lu also was bumped from finals by less than half a second in the 100 Back, in which freshman Jethin Gowda (Orange, Conn. / Amity Regional) cut two seconds.
The meet's final day will commence on Saturday at 9 a.m., featuring preliminaries in the 200 Back, 100 Free, 200 Breast, 200 Fly and 1650 Free, followed by the women's 3-meter diving finals and the 400 Free Relay in the evening.