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CMS Swimming Rewrites History at NCAA Championships

March 25, 2009

by Gui Schils
CMS Swimming Rewrites History at NCAA Championships

Nine athletes from CMS represented the Stags and Athenas at the Division III NCAA Swimming Championships hosted by the University of Minnesota. The Athenas scored 174 to finish 6th, a CMS record, as well as the highest placement by a SCIAC team in over 20 years. The Stags scored 15 points, good for 39th place, an improvement from last season, and the highest finish for a SCIAC men’s team.

The Athenas continued to set SCIAC and CMS record times, capping off the finest season in the program’s history, and possibly the finest in SCIAC history. Three individuals earned All-American honors, as well as two relay squads. Two other swimmers and the three other relays earned Honorable Mention All-American honors. In total, all five relays set CMS and SCIAC records, and six individual event CMS records were broken.

Anne Perizzolo, the 2008 SCIAC Women’s Swimmer of the Year, garnered double All-American honors, finishing 2nd in the 200 breast and 4th in the 100 breast. Katie Bilotti, this year’s Swimmer of the Year, earned All-American status by finishing 7th in the 100 butterfly. Whitney Dawson claimed her All-American credentials by snagging 3rd in the 1650 freestyle, breaking an 11-year old conference record in doing so.

Every one of the seven Athenas competing made an impact. Other Athenas that swam were Jenni Rinker, Emma Jones, Carliann Brashier, and Jordan Stewart. Perhaps the best news of all is that only Stewart, the women’s captain, is graduating this year.

Though overshadowed by the Athenas’ performance, the Stags duo of Vincent Pai and Nick Ostreim, a freshman and sophomore, set records of their own. Pai qualified 12th in the 200 breast, then dominated the consolation final, touching in at 1:59:90, good for the 2nd fastest time in the event. His effort broke at 12-year old record.

Ostreim finished 12th in the 200 backstroke, breaking a CMS record that had stood since 1983. Ostreim, who swam at NCAAs last year, also finished 32nd in the 100 back. Both Pai and Ostreim garnered Honorable Mention All-American status.

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