Swimming anticipates strong season

    The Triton swimming and diving team kicked off its season on Oct. 9 with its own UCSD Blue and Gold Meet.

    Unlike past seasons, when the team has not had its first dual meet until November, this year the Tritons must be prepared to match up against UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 22. The Blue and Gold Meet, a time trial event in which UCSD swimmers race exclusively against one another, was designed to prepare the 2004 team for its upcoming meets.

    Both the men’s and women’s teams had a great 2003-04 season. The women’s team placed third at the NCAA Finals, while the men’s team improved from years past, placing fifth after coming in 14th in 2002-03.

    The team has some strong returnees, such as senior breaststroker Rosanna Delurgio, who swept the breaststroke event, winning the 100-yard race for the second year in a row and the 200-yard race the following day. She had an impressive meet on Oct. 9, winning the 50-yard and 150-yard breaststroke and swimming the breaststroke leg of the winning 400-yard medley relay.

    The men’s team also has a number of promising returnees. Senior Michael Baier won both the 300-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle, demonstrating his versatility. Another senior, Kurt Boehm from Germany, also won two events, including the 150-yard butterfly and the 400-yard freestyle.

    The men’s team also boasts many promising freshman recruits. One of the closest races of the meet was the 400 medley relay, in which the ‘A’ team, after trailing on the first three legs of the race, pulled out a win by just 0.68 seconds. The second-place ‘B’ team included freshman breaststroker Evan Hsiao, who also won the 150-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Mike Lahey, who dominated the 150-yard backstroke and pulled off a narrow win in the 50-yard individual race, also took a lead in the backstroke leg of the relay.

    Another promising newcomer, Joel Tourtellotte, had an impressive meet. In the men’s 800-yard freestyle, a tight race in which Tourtellotte and junior Ben Falcioni were neck-and-neck throughout, Tourtellotte ultimately came out ahead by 0.4 seconds. In the 400 freestyle, Tourtellote was ahead of senior Kurt Boehm by fractions of a body length until the last leg, when Boehm stretched to beat Tourtellotte to the wall by 0.08 seconds.

    The diving team also participated in the Blue and Gold Meet. The Tritons’ 2004 roster is predominantly comprised of underclassmen, and the strength of the new freshmen will be of critical importance to UCSD in the hunt for another trip to the NCAA Finals.

    Overall, the Oct. 9 meet showed that the talent from last year’s remarkable season is back for 2004-05 and supported by a promising cast of new team members.

    The teams will participate in an alumni meet on Oct. 16. The first test for the Tritons will be an away meet at UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 22. The first home meet for the men’s team is planned for Nov. 6 against UC Santa Cruz, while the women’s home opener is scheduled for Oct. 29 against the University of Utah. Both events will take place at Canyonview Pool.

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