Tigers look to make a splash


Jacob Hurrell-Zitelman, sophomore, trains for the upcoming SCAC Championship meet in Dallas. photo by Allison Wolff, staff photographer

The Tiger swimming and diving teams made quite a splash last semester and are currently gearing up for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championships, which will be held in Dallas on Feb. 14–17. Both the men and the women will be defending their titles after taking home the SCAC championship last season.

The teams started off their season strong with a meet against University of Puget Sound, where the women won 123–88 and the men won 102–75. Strong performances by first-years Mabel Fowler and Shamzi Alkaff helped lead the Tigers to their first victory of the semester.

Fowler was named the SCAC female swimmer of the week on Jan. 24. She plans on using this accolade to help her stay motivated throughout the remainder of the season.

“It makes me that much more excited for conference to come,” Fowler said.

The diving team then hosted State University of New York at Fredonia, where senior Christine Peterson and first-year Daniel Valmassei captured the top spots in the competition. The next day, the Tigers swept Southwestern University with a 152–97 win for the women and a 165.5–113.5 win for the men. Each team won 10 events throughout the meet.

When preparing for the SCAC Championships, Valmassei emphasizes the importance of staying healthy.

“At this point we’re trying to stay healthy and make sure everything is strong,” Valmassei said.

The Tigers capped off their regular season schedule on Jan. 28 in Nashville, Tennessee, where both the women and men combined for victories over Centre College and Birmingham-Southern College. Several Tigers stood out during the meet, and Peterson’s scores qualified her forNational Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regionals.

This past week, four Tigers received All-SCAC accolades. On the men’s side, Alkaff took home the swimmer of the week honors and junior Duncan MacAskill took home diver of the week honors. On the women’s side, sophomore Star Rosales was named the swimmer of the week, and Peterson was named diver of the week for the third time this season.

Junior Ivy Claflin thinks both teams are ready for the championships.

“In terms of weights and time spent in the pool, I don’t think that our teams have ever been more prepared for the meet,” Claflin said.

As far as preparation goes, the team is focusing on the small stuff.

“We’re in the taper part of our season, which is really fun. We’ve just been focusing on the smart stuff: technique, speed, and details. Hopefully it will all pay off next week,” Claflin said.

Some Tigers are looking at the championship as a stepping stone to get to nationals.

“Nationals isn’t really something we have anticipated several members of the team going to before. I think that everyone is really hyped up about how that is a real possibility now,” Claflin said.

The SCAC Championships will take place at Lewisville Eastside Aquatic Center in Dallas, and will kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 14, with the 200-medley relay and the 800-freestyle relay. The women will be aiming to win their 15th consecutive SCAC championship, while the men are aiming to for their seventh consecutive championship.