INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – Following a major SCIAC Championship victory back on February 24th, the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Swim and Dive program is ready to take on the NCAA National Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana from March 21st to 24th. The meet will be held at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis in the IU Natatorium and is co-hosted by Franklin College and the Indiana Sports Corporation. The Sagehens will be sending eight representatives via B Cuts, to the national championships who will be competing in eight different events.
"We have a good group going and certainly we're excited about having eight women and eight men on this trip," said Head Coach Jean-Paul Gowdy. "There's a big gap, three weeks between SCIAC and NCAA. We haven't been preaching anything in particular other than continuing what we've done all year which is training with a purpose and to enjoy the experience."
The Sagehens had a wildly successful 2018 season, going undefeated in their SCIAC Dual Meets and winning their second SCIAC Championship in three years with a grand total of 1,166 meet points. In addition to winning the conference title, the Sagehens broke seven school records, two of which were set by junior Maddie Kauahi. Now on the final stretch of the season, the Sagehens will be sending eight swimmers to the NCAA, including Kauahi, Sarah Jin, Angela Ling, Hannah Zurmuhl, Mackenzie Cummings, Alex Seidel, Kate Denend, and Sabrina Kwan. The team has spent the last three weeks and stayed on campus during the spring break to train and prepare for this final meet.
"I am excited to represent Pomona-Pitzer. This is the highest the women have an opportunity to place," said Alex Seidel. "We have been working super hard all season up until the SCIACs. That was a great first step. We picked it back up in terms of yardage a little bit and bring it back down again. [We want] to focus on the little things and what's going to really matter."
Wed. March 21. Trial 7 a.m./Final 3 p.m.
50 Yard Freestyle
The junior Kauahi is also one of the favorites to win the 50 Yard Freestyle, boasting a seed time of 23.30, which is also the Sagehens Record. Hannah Zurmuhl will also be competing in the race, holding a top-10 seed time of 23.50. Emma Waddell of Williams College holds the top seed time at 22.98. The NCAA record is held by Kirsten Nitz of Wheaton (IL) at 22.66 back in 2013.
200 Medley Relay
Cummings, Kauahi, Ling, and Seidel combined for the fourth-fastest time in the nation this season in the 200 Yard Medley Relay, clocking in at 1:42.33. This time is also a Sagehen record. Denison College currently holds the top seed time at 1:40.96. The NCAA record was set by Kenyon College at 1:40.58 back in 2015.
Thur. March 22. Trial 7 a.m. Final 3 p.m.
400 Medley Relay
The Sagehens will have Cummings, Jin, Kauahi, and Kwan competing in the 400 Medley Relay at the national championship after the four combined for a seed time of 3:47.01. The fastest seed time is held by Kenyon College at 3:41.97. The NCAA Record was set last season by Emory at 3:39.57.
200 Freestyle Relay
Denend, Kauahi, Kwan, and Zurmuhl combined for a seed time of 1:33.79, which is also a program record. As one of the top-10 times in the nation, the Sagehens will be challenged by Emory which boasts a top seed time of 1:31.93. Emory also set the NCAA record last season at 1:30.52.
Fri. March 23. Trial 7 a.m. Final 3 p.m.
100 Yard Backstroke
The Sagehens will have two swimmers competing in the 100 Yard Backstroke, with Angela Ling among the favorites with a seed time of 55.74. The other Sagehen, Sarah Jin, currently boasts a seed time of 56.09, which sits among the top-15. Cindy Cheng of Emory College holds the fastest time this season at 54.16. The NCAA record was set in 2013 by Celia Oberholzer of Kenyon College at 53.46.
100 Yard Breaststroke
MacKenzie Cummings will enter the 100 Yard Breaststroke with a seed time of 1:04.42, which is also a program record. Standing in the junior's way is Katherine Kustritz of Denison College who holds a seed time of 1:00.50 which is also the NCAA record.
Sat. March 24. Trial 7 a.m. Final 3 p.m.
100 Yard Freestyle
Kauahi currently holds a seed time for the 100 Yard Freestyle at 50.82, but has proved she could swim faster, having set the school record last season at 50.77. The top seed time belongs to Abby VanHarn of Calvin College at 50.04. The fastest time in NCAA history is 48.98, which is held by Kendra Stern of Amherst back in 2010.
400 Freestyle Relay
The Sagehens will have Denend, Kauahi, Seidel, and Zurmuhl competing in the 400 Freestyle Relay as the four have a seed time of 3:27.29. This time is also the program record. Placed among the top-10 seed times, the Sagehens will need to overcome Emory and their top seed time of 3:21.53 at the meet. Emory also holds the NCAA Record set in 2017 at 3:19.56
Preliminary/Trials will start 7 a.m. PST while Finals will commence at 3 p.m. PST for all four days.
Tickets for each session ranges from $8 to $12 and can be purchased on Ticketmaster or at the front.
Check back at Sagehens.com for links to the live stream and results.