Swimmers vanquish Bakersfield

    For the first time in team history, the UCSD men’s and women’s swim and dive teams defeated Cal State Bakersfield on Nov. 13 at Canyonview Pool. The men’s team edged the defending national champions, 130-107, despite garnering first-place finishes in only six of the 13 events. The women’s team established a more comfortable lead on the Roadrunners, who placed fourth in the 2003-04 season, 164-77, and won eight events. Five Tritons turned in NCAA “A” qualifying times in four events, including senior Kurt Boehm in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly events, junior Sophie Levy in the 500 free, and the women’s 400 free relay made up of sophomore Monica Becks, sophomore Emily Harlan, Levy and senior Rosanna Delurgio.

    “It was a pretty awesome meet,” Delurgio said. “I think that [beating Cal State Bakersfield] is a pretty good predictor of how this team is going to do later in the season.”

    The depth of the Tritons men’s team was tested, as Roadrunner athletes managed to win the majority of the events. In order to retain the lead, UCSD swimmers had to dominate as many of the nonfirst-place scoring opportunities as possible.

    In the 1,000 free, UCSD maximized its scoring potential with first-, second- and third-place finishes. Senior Devin Spicer touched out freshman teammate Joel Tourtellotte by 0.18 seconds, winning the event in nine minutes, 43.69 seconds to Tourtellotte’s 9:43.87. Junior Ben Falcioni rounded out Triton scoring in the event with his third-place finish at 9:54.33, six seconds ahead of the first Bakersfield finisher.

    In the 200 free, Boehm defeated the second- and third-place Roadrunner finishers in his NCAA “A” qualifying time of 1:40.94, edging his closest competition by 0.69 seconds. Later in the meet, Boehm led the charge against Cal State Bakersfield with his victory in the 200 fly in an NCAA “A” qualifying time of 1:51.06, followed by junior Bernabe Sclafani and sophomore Paul Wikholm who took seccond and third, respectively.

    Triton men capitalized their scoring again in the 500 free event. Tourtellotte outswam the opposition in a close race that saw the first four finishers touch the wall within three seconds of one another. UCSD swimmers swept the first three places, with senior Michael Baier and Spicer accounting for second and third places, respectively.

    UCSD representatives took first through fourth places in the 200 breaststroke event, again bolstering the team’s scoring results. Sophomore Jacob Dong touched out teammates senior Brett Going and freshmen Derek Pettit and Ryan Kloos, giving the Tritons 16 points in the event, compared to the Roadrunners’ three points in the event.

    The women’s team won its half of the meet more handily than the men did, winning five of the first seven events of the meet, including sweeps in the 400 medley relay, the 1,000 free, the 200 individual medley, and the 200 fly.

    “I think that we were all pretty confident [that we could beat Cal State Bakersfield], but we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves,” Delurgio said

    Early season confidence will contribute to the Tritons’ success throughout the remainder of the 2004-05 season, but the NCAA Nationals will not take place until March, leaving ample time for changes in rankings and for lower-ranked teams to displace the national leaders.

    “We build off of momentum from winning these big meets and we’ll only get better, Delurgio said. “I’m not going to say that we’re going to win Nationals, but we’re in the running. November rankings don’t matter much relative to the end of the season.”

    In the 500 free, Levy took second place behind Roadrunner junior Loni Burton by 0.75 seconds, but her time of 5:03.86 was fast enough to qualify her for an NCAA “A” Nationals. Sophomore teammates Marisa Podesto and Andrea Lippin followed Levy into the wall for third and fourth places, respectivly. The result of the Triton two-three-four finish was that Cal State Bakersfield only gained one point on UCSD, narrowly winning the event, 10-9.

    The Tritons return to the pool at the Speedo Cup in Long Beach, Calif., from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20.

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