CLAREMONT, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2017) – Freshmen Alex Moraru (Southlake, Texas / Carroll Senior) and Thomas Gallup (Houston, Texas / Phillips Exeter Acad.) keyed a late rally for Caltech men's swim & dive in a double dual meet at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and with Occidental College which came down to the last event.
With Caltech trailing by more than 25 midway through the week, Moraru and Gallup each picked up first-place points in two of the final four events as the Beavers rode back-to-back 1-2 finishes and four straight first-place scores into the final event, the 200 Free Relay. A fifth straight victory would have sealed a tie for the second consecutive year, but it was not to be as Oxy's foursome got out to a fast start and held the edge throughout the race.
Gallup recorded the Beavers' lone overall win, placing ahead of 10 competitors to remain undefeatedin the 200 Breaststroke. He also placed second in the 100 Breast, out-touching all Oxy competitors, as did Moraru in the 400 IM after an earlier 2-3 finish alongside sophomore Dylan Lu (Kingwood, Texas / Kingwood) in the 200 Back.
Sophomore Adam Dai (Santa Barbara, Calif. / Dos Pueblos) completed the 1-2 finish with Gallup in the 200 Breast to kick off the late rally, with junior Alexander Bourzutschky (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) beating out Oxy's third swimmer for a crucial point as well. Lu and junior Avikar Periwal (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) then matched Gallup's and Dai's feat in the 500 Free and sophomore Henry Steiner (Petaluma, Calif. / Casa Grande) kept the momentum going with a victory in the 100 Fly to lead into Moraru's 400 IM win.
Steiner showed continued improvement from his November times, trimming two seconds in the 200 Fly to post a 2:00.41 and clocking a 51.95 in the 100 Fly – more than a three-second improvement and less than a second off his SCIAC Championships time as a rookie. Sophomore Jonathan Willett (Edina,Minn. / Edina) shaved 1.7 seconds in the 50 Free to record a 22.21 – just .33 off his personal best at the SCIAC Championships last February. Steiner and Willett teamed up for a solid 2-3 showing the 100 Free as well, touching the wall in 49.25 and 49.93, respectively, for a one-second improvement by Steiner and Willett's second straight 100 under 50 seconds.
Head Coach Paul Hughes and the Beavers host Whittier College on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 10:30 a.m.