UCSD swimming hosts Triton Invitational

    UCSD swimming hosted the Triton Invitational on Oct. 25 at Canyonview Pool. The men’s team came in second out of three teams, while the women’s team came in third out of five. UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge brought both men’s and women’s teams to the meet, while University of San Diego and the University of Nevada, Reno sent only women’s teams.

    Rebecca Drexler/Guardian
    Triton tradition: UCSD tradition requires each Triton swimmer to swim the challenging 200-yard butterfly in the first meet of every year.

    On the women’s side, UNR claimed first place with 923 points, followed by UCI with 723 points and UCSD with 432 points. On the men’s side, UCI won with a total of 1,475 points, followed by UCSD with 723 points and Cal State Northridge with 290 points.

    Several UCSD women qualified for the NCAA championships. Junior Rosanna Delurgio, a NCAA Division II record holder, obtained automatic qualifications in both breaststroke events. She set a meet record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.49, while placing second in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:19.99.

    Senior Denise Bogard also qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.27, which placed her third in the race.

    Junior Frances Tran, freshman Susan Bell and senior Carolyn Kwok all got consideration qualification times. Tran swam the 200-yard butterfly in 2:12.05, placing sixth. Bell finished sixth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:08.77. Kwok qualified for the 50-yard freestyle in an unusual fashion, swimming a fast first leg of the 200-yard free relay.

    On the men’s team, freshman Aram Yoo finished second in the 100-yard backstroke (54.08) and fifth in the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.06). Sophomore Ben Falcioni earned second in the 200-yard backstroke (1:57.39) and fifth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:01.71).

    Other top swims included freshman Jacob Dong’s third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:11.00), freshman Paul Wilkholm’s third-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.00), freshman Charlie Rudy’s fourth-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley (2:00.45), and junior Ben McComber’s fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.95).

    Head coach Scott McGihon was especially impressed with McComber’s swim. McComber swam for UCSD several years ago and was a NCAA qualifier, but he has been out of training for two years while on a religious mission in England. McGihon was pleased that McComber swam “”a very fast time”” at his first meet.

    One of the most exciting races was the men’s 200-yard free relay. UCSD’s team, comprised of senior Rob Small, freshmen Andy Harutunian and Tim Fuller, and junior Rob Tate, beat UCI by eight one-hundredths of a second. Their time of 1:26.92 set a meet record.

    Kwok, Delurgio and freshmen Liz Whiteley and Emily Harlan also set a meet record in the women’s 200-yard free relay, finishing in 1:37.72.

    The women’s 400-yard medley relay team (Bell, Delurgio, Harlan and sophomore Sarah Grant) swam a fast 3:56.66, an automatic qualification for the NCAAs.

    Closing the meet with a last victory for UCSD was the men’s 400-yard free relay team (junior Brady Gosling, Fuller, Tate and Harutunian). They pulled ahead of the second-place UCI team and finished in a time of 3:12.21.

    The strength shown by the UCSD swimmers is especially significant because not everyone swam their best events. It’s a UCSD tradition that every year at the first Invitational, every member of the team has to swim the 200-yard butterfly, a difficult and often despised event. The focus was more on having fun and building team spirit than on earning points.

    Because the team performed very well, McGihon viewed the meet as an auspicious start to the 2003-04 season. “”We’ve never been this fast this early,”” he said.

    He was most pleased with the attitude of the swimmers toward each other and as a whole. “”It was an amazing meet for us in terms of performance, but more importantly in terms of team chemistry and the feeling the team has right now,”” he said.

    The UCSD swimming and diving team will next compete against UC Santa Cruz on Nov. 2 at home.

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