UCSD women’s swim places fifth, men fourth at A3 Performance Invitational.
The UCSD men’s and women’s swim teams competed at East Los Angeles College in the annual A3 Performance Invitational. The women started off strong with 234.5 points to place third on the first day, but dropped to fifth place on the second day with a score of 464.5 and maintained that position till the end with 675.5 points. The men’s team held onto its position as fourth throughout the event with scores of 206 on the first day, 519 on the second and 813 on the third.
On the first day, the UCSD women’s swim team had a fantastic performance going up against 11 other squads, all Division-I teams, and placed just behind UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Junior Natalie Tang (23.72), sophomore Angi Phetbenjakul (23.21), junior Catherine Woo (23.92) and senior co-captain Colleen Daley (22.80) started the meet with a strong showing and together ranked fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:33.65).
Sophomore Stephanie Sin (4:58.63) earned 13th in the 500-yard freestyle, while senior Maddy Huttner placed 10th with a time of 2:04.55 in the 200-yard individual medley, with freshman Lindsey Miller (2:07.02) finishing just five spots behind. The event of the night for the women’s team was the 50-yard freestyle, where Daley (23.28) and Phetbenjakul (23.28) placed fourth and seventh, respectively. Tang (23.88) was not far behind in the event, placing 13th. Sophomore Julia Toronczak, junior Jaimie Bryan, sophomore Jayna Wittenbrink and Daley then went on to grab eighth in the 400-yard medley relay (3:45.82).
The UCSD men’s swim team finished in the middle of the pack, coming in fourth out of eight teams behind Stanford University, UCSB and Cal Poly. The men’s team started off the finals with the A team coming in fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:21.79) and had its swimmers junior Michael Cohn (4:28.33), senior Paul Li (4:31.20), senior Kyle Nadler (4:31.81) and senior Howie Change (4:37.53) all place in the consolation finals for the 500-yard freestyle. Senior Arthur Cole Heale (20.47) and sophomore Kevin Wylder (20.76) were neck-and-neck in the 50-yard freestyle, placing fourth and seventh, respectively.
The competition picked up the pace on the second day, as University of the Pacific and San Jose State overtook the Triton women. Miller led the way for the team in the 400-yard individual medley, placing sixth with a time of 4:28.70 with Huttner (4:38.61) close behind in eighth. The women’s team also finished strong in the 100-yard breaststroke, claiming yet another fourth and seventh spot by swimmers Bryan (1:03.20) and Phetbenjakul (1:03.75). However, the 800-yard freestyle relay team fell to the middle of the pack, only cracking the sixth spot with a total time of 7:30.11.
The men’s team held their ground, however. To start the finals events, the 200-yard medley relay team landed in fourth, falling behind the University of Hawaii team by a mere .08 seconds. Sophomore Kevin Fink cracked the top eight in the 400-yard individual medley, while Nadler, Li and junior Zachary Yong all ranked in the consolation finals. UCSD was able to crack the eighth spot in the next men’s event thanks to Wylder’s 48.66 time. Yong (56.48) earned seventh place, with junior Aaron Clancy (56.54) close behind in eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Continuing the streak of top-eight swimmers in the men’s events, junior Julian Jacobs (49.79) placed seventh in the breakneck 100-yard backstroke, just behind the first place spot by .60 seconds. The men’s team finished the day on a high note, claiming the third spot in the 800-yard freestyle relay thanks to swimmers Cohn, junior Chandler Pourvahidi, senior Michael Leung and Li and their 6:36.37 time, breaking the school record.
To start off the final day, the women found their momentum and struck gold, securing fifth place in the 200-yard backstroke thanks to Toronczak (2:00.01). Sin trooped through the 1650-yard freestyle, and after 17:26.81 minutes, earned the 10th-place spot. Daley continued her strong first day by earning fourth off of a 51.19 second time for the 100-yard freestyle. Bryan had another strong race, earning the seventh spot in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:17.38 time. Senior Dari Watkins had a solid showing in the 200-yard fly, as she was able to earn the eighth spot. The women’s team finished off the day with the 400-yard freestyle relay, taking the sixth spot. Daley’s time of 50.95, a personal best, was a strong finish to the A3 Invitational. The women’s team closed out the meet maintaining its fifth place.
On the men’s side, the team remained in the same rank as the previous day’s. With help from Cohn’s (1:46.56) fifth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke, Nadler (15:39.30), junior Sasha Mitrushina (15:52.81) and freshman Alejandro Ortiz’s (16:12.02) top-15 placements in the 1650-yard freestyle, Yong’s second-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke and the 400-yard freestyle relay team’s third-place finish to close out the day, the UCSD men’s swim team was able to close out the meet in fourth place with 813 points.
“This was the best A3 meet we have had in recent memory,” UCSD men’s swimming Head Coach Daniel Perdew told the UCSD Athletics Department. “Each day, we saw a lot of lifetime bests, and we capped off the meet with one of our best sessions, highlighted by outstanding 400 free relays.”
UCSD’s next meet is the Inland Empire Diving Invitational at Riverside on Dec. 19.