Women's swimming drops meet against UCLA

    After a month without competition, the UCSD women’s swimming team fell to Division I power UCLA 179-83 Jan. 3 at Canyonview pool.

    Guardian file photo

    While the women’s soccer and volleyball teams were grabbing all the attention in December, the Triton swimming and diving teams were undergoing grueling practices in preparation for the winter season.

    “”This meet was good for us because we were at the end of our winter training,”” said Triton coach Scott McGihon. “”It allowed us to get back in the pool and see where we stand against much faster competition.””

    The Tritons now have a 4-2 record in dual meets and finished an impressive sixth place (out of 16) in December’s Speedo Cup, a competition laden with Division I schools.

    Before the meet with UCLA, both coaches decided to shorten the length of most individual races — a move made due to both squads’ intense winter conditioning.

    “”We didn’t have a month off,”” said senior Lindsay Meeks. “”We had a month of hard work.””

    As expected, both teams had slow times, but the Tritons managed to get in a couple of solid results.

    Meeks, who pulled down sixth-and seventh-place finishes in the 200- and 100-yard breaststroke, respectively, during the 2001 National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships, won the first race of the day for the Tritons when she led a UCSD 1-2-3 sweep of the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 30.40 seconds.

    Later, junior Samantha Wong, anchor of the 2001 Division II champion 400-yard medley team, led another Triton sweep of the 100-yard freestyle with 54.22 seconds.

    “”In the end, I was pleasantly surprised with our results,”” McGihon admitted. “”We raced much faster than I thought we would and were just touched out in a couple of races.””

    Both the men’s and women’s diving teams were also in action in the last week of winter break, competing in the UC Irvine Diving Invitational over the weekend. The Tritons were a last-minute entry into the largely Division I field but fared well.

    Elizabeth Sales had the best outing for the Tritons, finishing ninth out of 23 in the one-meter diving competition with a score of 396.95.

    She was the only UCSD diver in the top 12 after the first six optional dives. With only the top 12 left, the divers in the competition had to complete five more required dives. In the three-meter competition, Sales just missed the cut, finishing 13th out of 27 with 207.95 points.

    Janelle Benterou (18th, 1-meter; 26th, 3-meter) and Emily Quon (19th, 1-meter; 24th, 3-meter) also competed for the UCSD women, while Cory Ritzau was the lone competitor for the Tritons, finishing in sixth place in an all-Division I field.

    The men’s swimming and diving teams return to action Saturday in a dual meet at UC Irvine, while the women don’t hit the pool again until Jan. 26, when they will be hosting UC Santa Cruz at Canyonview Pool.

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