COMMERCE, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2019) – Senior Brittany Percin (Lake Tahoe, Calif. / Stanford Online) of the Caltech women's swimming & diving team became a two-time SCIAC champion in the 200 Free on Saturday, winning the event for the first time since her freshman campaign. The Beavers are currently on pace to finish sixth out of nine SCIAC teams, which would be an all-time best finish and two-spot improvement on last year if it stands.
Percin, who entered the event as the top-seeded swimmers following prelims earlier that same day, saved her best swim for last and touched the wall in 1:51.99 to secure a big Caltech victory despite facing stiff competition from a pair of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges swimmers. Saturday's swim was the senior's fastest of the year and marked the first time since 2018 she completed the 200 Free in under 1:52.00, roughly three-tenths of a second off her Caltech record pace which she set at last year's SCIAC Championships.
Classmate Gemma Takahashi (San Jose, Calif. / Leland) led off the day for Caltech with a fourth-place finish in the 100 Fly. The defending SCIAC champion entered the event seeded sixth but swam well enough to move up two positions with her strong finals swim. Additionally, the senior just two-hundredths of a second away from improving on her program-record 59.91. The 100 Back has proven to be a game-changer for Caltech this year with the Beavers receiving two SCIAC finalists in newcomers Isabel Swafford (Boise, Id. / Boise) and Danica Adams (Novato, Calif. / UC Berkeley). Both swimmers provided Caltech with a reason for optimism early in the day, seeding in at sixth and fourth in the event respectively before each going on to improving their times that evening. Both swimmers went neck-and-neck the entire race with the higher-seeded Adams touching the wall in 57.59 and Swafford coming in at 57.57, improving on her seeding by one place. Both times ended up being the first and second-fastest times in school history, similar situation to what both swimmers found themselves in at this year's Collegiate Winter Invitational.
Caltech ended its day on a high note, with the four aforementioned swimmers coming together for another record-setting bronze-medal finish in the 400 Medley Relay. The Beavers' 3:54.04 time is a nine-second improvement on the previous record set by a team which featured both Percin and Takahashi. Adams opened with the backstroke and got Caltech started with the second-fastest opening split in the race before Percin brought it home with the second-fastest freestyle split in the race. Caltech's other quartet consisting of freshmen Isabella Dula (Tuscaloosa, Ala. / Maggie L. Walker) and Olivia Grobowsky (Houston, Texas / Westside), and sophomores B and Stella Wang (Guangzhou, China / North Allegheny) also made an appearance in the 'B' Final (4:12.40).
Head Coach Andy Brabson and the Beavers will conclude the 2019 SCIAC Championships on Sunday, with the 1650 Free, 200 Back, the 100 Free, 200-yard breaststroke, the 200 Fly and lastly the 400 Free Relay.