Records Fall at Friendly Affair

    The UCSD men’s and women’s swimming teams got their sea legs ready by testing the waters for their upcoming season in the annual intersquad Blue vs. Gold meet Oct. 14.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian
    While the friendly Blue vs. Gold intersquad matchup on Oct. 14 was intended to give the swimming and diving teams a chance to ready themselves for the regular season, the Tritons wasted no time in making new strides, breaking several records on the day.

    The Triton swimmers put on a performance worthy of Poseidon, breaking eight meet records on the day. Both the men and women’s teams looked smooth, swimming at an NCAA Championship-contending pace in preparation of the regular season.

    “It was a really good meet, especially for our first time off the blocks,” head coach Scott McGihon said.

    Led by senior team captain Tim Fuller, the men’s blue team defeated the gold team, 158-100.

    Jason Campa/Guardian
    The women’s team hopes for smooth waters ahead to improve upon last year’s third-place spot in the NCAA Championships, which they have held for four straight years.

    Fuller looked impressive on his way to breaking multiple meet records. His first meet record came when he placed first in the 200-yard freestyle event ahead of senior teammate Jack Dong of the gold team with a time of 1 minute, 44.07 seconds. Fuller would go on to break another meet record when he finished first in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events with times of 21.11 and 47.52, respectively. Blue team freshman Dan Perdew finished just behind Fuller in both of those events with times of 21.91 and 48.62, respectively. Junior Evan Hsiao and freshman Andy Islip finished first and second, respectively, in the 50-yard backstroke to put an exclamation point on a decisive blue team victory.

    In the women’s events, the gold team bested the blue team 132-127. The women’s blue team began the day with a victory over the gold team in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:51.28.

    “The level of team spirit was inspiring, and quite a few people swam very well for the first meet of the season,” senior Emily Harlan said. “We swam a very competitive meet against one another.”

    Harlan, of the gold team, took first in both the 50 and 100 freestyles with times of 24.55 and 54.33, respectively. Senior Andrea Lippin led the way for the blue team in the 800 freestyle over junior Lauren Forbes of the gold team with a blazing time of 8:32.62, which narrowly missed the meet record.

    Senior Jenna Muenter and sophomore Kendall Bohn provided a one-two punch for the gold team in the 50 breaststroke with times of 32.00 and 32.39, respectively. Muenter and Bohn’s performances in this event accrued a combined 13 points, and help put the gold team over the blue team in the women’s meet.

    The preseason intersquad meet allowed the Tritons to comb the depths of their talent before regular season action starts this month. The meet spotlighted many outstanding underclassmen swimmers, and poolside observers didn’t have to spend much time in the mast before they yelled, “Talent Ho!”

    Sophomore Artur Kubalski won the 800 freestyle for the men’s gold team with an impressive 8:05 finish ahead of the blue team’s freshman Greg Goodell of the blue team. Sophomore Shannon Simonds of the gold team also looked excellent when she took first in the women’s 200 freestyle.

    Freshmen Karla Holman and Kevin Le each exploded out of the gates in the 150 butterfly events for the women’s and men’s blue teams. Holman finished first in the event, ahead of sophomore gold teamer Jennifer Sims, with a time of 1:34.33. Le swam a time of 1:22.44 to best senior Jesse Marin for first place and a record time in the Blue vs. Gold meet, highlighting a gifted freshman class.

    Head coach McGihon has guided the women’s team to four consecutive third-place finishes, and the men’s team to three straight top-five finishes in the NCAA Championships.

    Just last year the women’s team once again finished shy of a NCAA title with third place in the championships, led by alumna Sophie Levy, who won an individual national title in the 1650 freestyle with a school-record time of 16:57.99. The men’s team finished fifth in the NCAA Championships.

    “This year we have all the potential to have an even better season than last year,” senior Emily Harlan said. “The women’s team only lost four seniors, and though they were very strong players on our team, I’m optimistic and excited for this year’s new and returning talent. We took our smallest team ever to NCAAs last year, and we scored more points than ever before. I’m hoping we can put up another awesome fight for top two this year, and maybe this time we’ll get it.”

    The UCSD men’s diving team is also looking to have an impressive season with its largest team in school history, in addition to three returning all-conference divers: senior Daniel Gordh and juniors Andrew Skewes and Jeff Bryant.

    “Despite the lack of a coach for the entire first month of training and season, we now have our new coach, Garrett Skipper, leading us and are ready [to] get out there with the swimmers and get to Nationals in Buffalo,” junior diving team captain Jeff Bryant said.

    The women’s diving team returns only one diver — junior Amanda Mason — but boasts four new rookie divers Jennifer Lappe, Corinne Hieatt, Danielle Niculescu and junior transfer Nicole Stasio from Pomona College.

    Both the Triton swimming and diving teams hope to make a big splash when they kick off the regular season later this month.

    The Blue vs. Gold meet gives the squad a glimpse of what’s to come this season as they face Division I competitors. The Tritons start the regular season Oct. 28 against University of Utah, before traveling to Santa Barbara, Calif., to face the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on Nov. 4.

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