Chapman’s swimming and diving teams brought their seasons to a close this weekend, as they competed in the Chapman-hosted Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships (SCIAC).
“I have met and competed against other divers all throughout the season and it was so fun seeing how far everyone has come, and being all together in one place,” said freshman diver Kellyn Toole. “It has also been so great to just hang out with my team. They’ve really been there to support me, which is awesome.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams were able to make history in the championships, with Toole leading the way for the women’s team.
Toole made Chapman history Feb. 19 when she won a conference title for her dive off the 1-meter board. Toole is the first diver and the second Chapman student to win a title at the conference Swimming and Diving Championships. After securing the top seed in the preliminary round, Toole claimed first in the event with a score of 444.00.
“Winning a SCIAC title feels great,” Toole said. “This season has been sort of up and down for me, but in the end it all paid off, and I’m very happy with how everything has turned out so far. I’m glad I could put it all together in the end.”
With the help of Toole’s title, the women’s swimming and diving team was able to move up to fourth place with 178 points by the end of the second day of the competition.
The men’s team also had its own success in the competition. Freshman swimmer Quinn Gates broke the Chapman record in the men’s 50-yard freestyle event. In the preliminary round, Gates broke the Chapman record with a time of 21.30 and shortened his time in the finals with a time of 21.07. With this time, he was able to tie for fifth in the event, despite his ninth seed.
Regarding his success, Gates said it, “is a tangible representation of what hard work really looks like.”
“Being in a championship race is unlike any other experience. You spend so much time getting amped up for just one race and your whole team is cheering for you,” Gates said. “For me, I just try to think of nothing besides the fact that that I am putting my whole heart into these next two laps and everything else just comes together.”