Claremont, Calif. (March 24, 2016)—Pitzer College student Maddie Kauahi ’19 earned All-America honors this past weekend at the 2016 NCAA DIII Championships in Greensboro, NC. She is the first Pitzer student and Sagehen swimmer in more than a decade to net this distinction, according to Jean-Paul Gowdy, the head coach of the Pomona-Pitzer Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving teams.
“This is quite an honor especially as a first-year student,” Gowdy said. “Very rarely do first-year athletes swim at such a high level.”
Kauahi anchored two women’s relay teams, which both broke Sagehen records and earned the team All-America honors. The women’s 200-yard medley relay team—made up entirely of first-year students Angela Ling (PO ’19), Mackenzie Cummings (PO ’19), Sarah Jin (PO ’19) and Kauahi— finished sixth, earning All-America honors and breaking the Sagehens’ standing record with a time of 1:43.51. The women’s 400-yard medley relay team, composed of the same fast first-year lineup, clocked in at 3:50.02, meriting All-America Honorable Mention. Kauahi also earned All-America Honorable Mention for her 14th-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.
“Maddie is a racer and competitor, she performs her best in big situations when the pressure is highest,” said Gowdy, who won the SCIAC Coach of the Year for the second straight year earlier this month. “It is hard to emphasize enough how important it is to have a swimmer like this on your team—and it’s even more impressive that this is her first year competing at the college level.”
Kauahi has made a splash during her first season as a Sagehen: she was named SCIAC Newcomer of the Year earlier this month after earning honors as the TeamUnify CollegeSwimming.com National Swimmer of the Week.
Pitzer sophomore Kara Miller-Radest ’18 also had a strong showing at the 2016 NCAA DIII Championships as she finished in 19th place in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:05.66. She and Kauahi are the first two swimmers from Pitzer College to qualify individually for the NCAA Championships in more than a decade.
The Sagehens Swimming and Diving teams capped the NCAA Championships with three top-10 finishes and 10 top-20 finishes throughout four days of competition. The Sagehens scored their highest finishes at the championships since the 1990s, with the women’s team coming in at 17th place and the men’s team ranking 30th overall.
The Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Swimming and Diving team won the 2015-16 SCIAC Championship in February. The men’s team came in second during the SCIAC Championships. Both teams broke a combined 21 Sagehen records during that competition.