LA MIRADA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2016) – Freshman Brittany Percin (Moraga, Calif. / Stanford Online) capped a simply amazing rookie season with another podium finish and teamed with classmate Gemma Takahashi (San Jose, Calif. / Leland) to set three more records on the final day of the SCIAC Championships.
Percin earned the top seed in the 200 Fly with a program-record 2:05.84 and ultimately placed third in the event to garner 18 points for the Beavers. Takahashi lowered her own 200 Back record by almost three seconds to 2:12.88 and several others recorded personal-best times in the morning session.
Takahashi kicked the day off with her 200 Back in the preliminary session, followed shortly by a near-two-second improvement for senior Grace Lee (Artesia, Calif. / Gretchen Whitney) as well as two- and one-second drops by freshman Xiaohan Xue (Memphis, Tenn. / White Station) and senior Tiffany Zhou (Brentwood, Calif. / Heritage) in the 100 Free. Percin then staked her claim to lane 5 in the 200 Fly finals and junior Kate Evans (Cumming, Ga. / Lambert) finished the morning with a 22:56.37 in her first career 1650 Free.
Prior to the swimming finals, junior Zofii Kaczmarek (New York, N.Y. / Stuyvesant) competed in the 3-meter diving finals early in the afternoon. With five dives already in the books from the previous day's qualification round, she held her position in seventh thanks in part to the highest-scoring back dive of her career that netted her over 40 points. Kaczmarek finished with a personal-best score of 316.20 – 35 points more than last year's total when she placed 10th – and hauled in 14 more points for the teamtotal.
The night session opened with the last heat of the mile before Takahashi jumped in for the 200 Back consolations final. The rookie stayed in the mix for second early in the race before falling back by a second at the midway point, but closed hard to tie for fourth in the heat and 13th overall, netting 5.5 points for Caltech.
After the 100 Free and 200 Breast, Percin stepped to the block for the final individual event of the night. Looking to add to her 200 Free title from the night before, the freshman found herself trailing by a second after the first 50 but caught most of that by the 100 mark, at which point she had already split half a second faster her morning time. Percin then took the lead with just the final 50 to go and, despite running out of gas down the stretch, held on to make the podium again in third place, claiming another 18 points for the Beavers.
Percin ended the night on another high note as she lowered her own 100 Free record leading off the 400 Free Relay in 53.93. Takahashi split an impressive 54.76 as well, with Evans handling the third leg and Lee swimming the final 100 of her career as the anchor.
Caltech finished the four-day meet with 233.5 points – a whopping 144.5 more than last year's total – and were just 61.5 out of eighth place and a tight middle of the standings, with the fourth-place team only 151.5 points ahead of the Beavers. Percin and Takahashi combined to break eight program records in the championship meet alone and 11 for the season. Percin now holds seven of those marks, while Takahashi claimed four.