COMMERCE, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2019) – The Caltech women's swimming & diving team consummated the best SCIAC Championship finish in program history on the final day of Sunday's SCIAC Championship meet. The Beavers concluded the meet with 402 points, a 128-point improvement on last year's score to solidify the second-highest year-to-year jump of any team on the men's or women's side.
Senior Brittany Percin (Lake Tahoe, Calif. / Stanford Online) left an impression in the final day of the final SCIAC Championship meet of her career, claiming second place in the 200 Fly, matching her finish from a season ago. Percin made a near-two second improvement on last year's time, however, and managed to break her own school record thanks to a 2:03.69 finals time after entering the event seeded second with a time that also bested her old record (2:04.58). Nevertheless, last year's time would have still netted the senior another silver medal, as she finished a near-three seconds faster than the next fastest swimmer. Percin's time could assure her a spot in this year's NCAA Championship meet after making her debut on the national stage for the first time as a junior. Classmate Gemma Takahashi (San Jose, Calif. / Leland) made the 200 Fly finals alongside Percin and swam a 2:10.30 in the prelims, coming less than one second away from finishing her Division III career with a PR.
Freshman Olivia Grobowsky (Houston, Texas / Westside) scored the mile earlier in the morning thanks to an 18:39.03 preliminary time, joining graduate student Danica Adams (Novato, Calif. / UC Berkeley) in the meet's longest event. Adams went on to take sixth-place thanks to a 17:57.16 but actually swam in second behind the eventual winner from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges for the first 400m. The newcomer did manage to break 18 minutes for the first time this year and claimed a new school record beating out teammate Percin's 18:03.20 from last year. Adams and freshman teammate Isabel Swafford (Novato, Calif. / UC Berkeley) went on to compete in the 200 Back with both swimmers making finals after an impressive preliminary session where Adams' school record 2:03.42 earned her the top-seed going into the finals and would have been good enough to garner second-place had she matched it. The grad student fell off in the finals due to a shoulder injury sustained in the mile, though Swafford managed to capture fifth thanks to her 2:06.60.
Caltech ended the day with its top team achieving a fourth-place finish in the 400 Free Relay. Swafford, Takahashi, Percin and sophomore Jessica Sun (York, Penn. / Red Lion Area Senior) came together to deliver a 3:35.90 for one more program record despite fatigue playing a likely factor. Caltech's improvements in the relay events played a massive role in this year's step forward and the final event of the meet proved to be no exception. Caltech's second team consisting of sophomore Stella Wang (Greensboro, N.C. / North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics), freshman Yuying Lin (Scarborough, Canada / Victoria Park C.I.), sophomore Olivia N Durrett (Charlotte, NC / Phillips Academy Andover) and junior Tzarina Shippee (San Diego, Calif. / La Jolla) also scored for the Beavers in the 'B' Final (4:12.83).
The women's team now will eagerly await the official news as to which swimmers qualified for the NCAA Championships, which will be revealed in the next week. Head Coach Andy Brabson and the Beavers will be losing seniors Percin and Takahashi to graduation but will look to build on a new foundation consisting of Swafford, Adams and others.