Futures Qualifier James Saw Announces Commitment to DIII Whittier College

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Futures qualifier and class of 2022 graduate James Saw has announced his commitment to Whittier College for the 2022-2023 season. Saw will arrive at the Division III program by way of Desert Mountain High School and the Scottsdale Aquatic Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Whittier’s Head Coach Michael Jafari was a big reason for my commitment. I fell in love with his energy and believed in his plan for the team. I heard great things from the other swimmers about him and really felt that I would belong with each member. 

Saw’s primary events are the 100 and 200 butterflies. He also regularly competes in and excels at the distance freestyle races. His best times in the 100 and 200 fly- 51.01 and 1:53.08 respectively- are both Future’s Championship qualifying standards. 

Best Times SCY:

  • 500 free- 4:42.15
  • 1000 free- 9:51.11
  • 1650 free- 16:29.97
  • 100 fly- 51.01
  • 200 fly- 1:53.08

At the 2021 AIA Division II (“medium” schools on a scale of I-III) State Championships, Saw competed in the 500 free and 100 fly. He qualified for finals in both events, finishing 5th in the 500 for both prelims and finals and 6th in the 100 fly, again for both prelims and finals. In the 500, Saw posted a 4:48.80 in prelims, which was his best that season but still around 6 seconds slower than his personal record. In the 100 fly, he swam a season best of 52.55 in prelims and went on to post a new personal best of 52.10 in finals.

More recently, at the 2022 Speedo Sectionals in Austin, TX, Saw lowered his personal best in the 100 fly again, posting a 51.01. He had swum a new personal best in the 100 fly several times since AIA State, ultimately dropping .84 seconds at sectionals off a time he set earlier that same month.

At sectionals, Saw also competed in the 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free, and 200 fly. His highest finish of the meet came in the 200 fly, where he touched the wall 19th with a new personal best of 1:53.08. He dropped over a second and a half from his previous record, set back in December of 2020.

Whittier College is located in Whittier, California, and competes as part of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). At the 2022 SCIAC Championships, the Whittier College Poets finished 8th out of 9 teams. Head coach Michael Jafari has been leading the Poets since 2019. 

At the SCIAC Championships, 18 swimmers advance to the finals and score points in each event, with the top 9 qualifying for the A final and the next 9 entering the B final. Saw has the potential to be a huge contributor for Whittier, with best times that would have finaled and scored points in 2022. He would have placed 8th in the 200 fly, 9th in the 1650 free, and 11th in the 100 fly. In each of these events, he would have ben the top performer for Whittier by far. 

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