Tritons swim in Division II nationals

The UCSD swimming teams sent 20 men and women to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II National Championships at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, on March 12 through March 15. The UCSD women earned 365.5 points to tie for third place with West Chester, bettering last year’s fourth-place finish. The UCSD men dropped one place from last year’s performance, finishing in 14th place with 96 points.

For the third year in a row, the Truman State women were national champions and the Drury women were runners-up. On the men’s side, the Drury swimmers were the champions.

Sophomore Rosanna Delurgio shone among the UCSD women, winning both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. Her times of 1:02.38 and 2:15.84, respectively, broke her own NCAA records set at the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships in February. She also earned 10th place in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.09 seconds.

Junior Denise Bogard strengthened UCSD’s showing in the breaststroke events by earning fourth place in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.76) and eighth in the 200 breaststroke (2:22.81). In the 100 breaststroke, Bogard was followed by sophomore Katie Miller, who swam to 15th place with a time of 1:07.86, and freshman Louisa Salisbury, whose time of 1:08.34 earned her a 16th-place finish.

Senior Jennifer Watanabe attained All-American standing in four individual events and two relays. She came in second in the 200 backstroke (2:01.84), third in both the 100 backstroke (57.03) and the 400 individual medley (4:28.08), and ninth in the 200 individual medley (2:06.74).

Sophie Levy had a surprisingly strong showing for a freshman. Beating older, more experienced swimmers, she placed fourth in the 1,650 freestyle (17.24.59), 5th in the 500 freestyle (5:02.78), sixth in the 1,000 freestyle (10.25.25) and 16th in the 200 freestyle (1:56.51).

Sophomore Frances Tran swam the 200 butterfly in 2:06.89, earning her fifth place. She also competed in the 100 backstroke (59.77) and the 200 backstroke (2:11.04), getting a 17th place and a 16th place, respectively. Fellow sophomore Christine Hyjek had a ninth-place finish in the 400 individual medley (4:33.47), as well as a 13th place in the 200 individual medley (2:08.76) and a 17th place in the 1,650 free (17.56.85).

The relay events contributed greatly to the UCSD women’s point total. The 400 medley relay team, consisting of Watanabe, Delurgio, freshman Sarah Grant and senior Samantha Wong, won a silver medal in a time of 3:49.72. The last event of the four-day meet was the 400 freestyle relay, which head coach Scott McGihon termed “”the most exciting relay I’ve ever gotten to witness.”” Going into the race, UCSD had fewer points than West Chester, but the team of Delurgio, Miller, Wong and Watanabe (3:29.19) came in third, two places ahead of West Chester’s team, pulling the UCSD team into a tie for third place for the championship.

Although the UCSD men only sent six swimmers to the meet, the qualifiers showed strong team effort as all six scored points for their team.

Sophomore Michael Baier placed eighth in the 400 individual medley (4:05.56), and 12th in both the 200 individual medley (1:54.07) and the 200 breaststroke (2:07.91). Another sophomore, Brett Going, came in 9th in the 100 breaststroke (57.55) and 13th in the 200 breaststroke.

Senior Dagart Allison earned 13th place in both the 200 freestyle (1:41.47) and the 1000 freestyle (16:17.91). He also came in 16th in the 1,650 freestyle (16.17.91) and 19th in the 500 freestyle (4:38.00). In the 1,650 freestyle, sophomore Matt Rogers trailed Allison, coming in 20th in a time of 16:34.44.

Rob Small, a sophomore, finished 14th in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 58.53 and 19th in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:10.26. Rogers, sophomore Brady Gosling, Baier and Allison swam the men’s 500 freestyle relay and finished in fifth place with a time of 6:49.10.

Overall, the meet was a solid accomplishment for both the men and women because all the qualifiers contributed to each team’s final finish.

“”Both on the men’s team and the women’s team, everyone scored,”” McGihon said. “”That’s the first time in a few years that that’s happened. The success of the both teams was truly a team effort.””