Tritons Start Off With Cold Shower

    With the excitement and anticipation of the new season, the UCSD men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams’ 90-170 loss against the University of Utah wasn’t exactly what the Tritons were expecting.

    Photos By Jason Campa/Guardian
    Despite some encouraging individual finishes, the UCSD men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams dropped their first regular-season meet to the University of Utah on Oct. 28. The Utes took first place in most heats, including all four diving events.

    “I thought we swam better than Utah, but our turns weren’t very good, and that’s where [they] got [their] advantage,” head coach Scott McGihon said. “But I’m still very pleased with several surprising performances.”

    Two of those performances came from the 200-meter medley relay teams on both the men’s and women’s sides. For the women, the quartet of senior Susan Bell, senior Jenna Meunter, junior Heather Szmidt and senior Emily Harlan finished second, a mere .45 seconds behind the Utah squad at 1 minute 48.61 seconds, and just missed automatically qualifying for the NCAA championships.

    The men’s foursome of sophomore Devin Ancona, senior Jake Dong, senior Jesse Marin and senior Tim Fuller turned in a time of 1:35.85, a mere .02 seconds behind the Utes — the Tritons’ fastest time ever in October, according to McGihon.

    “They had better starts, turns and finishes than us right now,” Fuller said. “But that’s the kind of thing that will come to us a few meets into the season. It was their third meet and it showed.”

    Fuller also came close to grabbing victory in his other three events of the day. He finished second in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events with times of 21.48 and 46.97, respectively, and third in the 200 freestyle, clocking a 1:44.20.

    For the rest of the men’s side, freshman Kelvin Le took first place in the 100 butterfly with a time of 51.38. The men’s 400 freestyle relay team of sophomore Artur Kubalski, freshman Todd Langland, sophomore Devin Ancona and sophomore Dan Perdew was the other men’s team winner with a time of 3:13.29.

    Ancona also finished second in the 100 backstroke at 53.48, and Le was second in the 200 butterfly, timing a 1:54.87.

    Men’s team captain Dong finished second in the 400 freestyle relay and fourth in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

    “[University of] Utah is a Division I scholarship program,” Dong said. “It’s always tough going up against a team that offers money to their athletes. We are looking very good going into our next few meets.”

    In the women’s 100 freestyle, Harlan, with a time of 53.69, turned in the lone individual win for the Tritons, edging out her teammate, sophomore Shannon Simonds, who clocked in at 53.90.

    UCSD dominated the 400 freestyle relay, finishing first, second and third. The UCSD A team of sophomore Aubrey Panis, Simonds, Bell and Harlan finished with a time of 3:35.42 for the win. Panis swam an opening 54.33 and Harlan closed with an impressive 53.66 to top the field.

    “We may not have superstars, but we have people that will give us two through five finishes,” McGihon said. “At a championship meet, that will reward the team more than at a dual meet. And at the beginning of the year you want to be a better championship team than a dual meet team.”

    The highlight of the day came when freshman Karla Holman became the first UCSD swimmer to automatically qualify for the NCAA championships in the 200 butterfly, with a time of 2:06.86.

    “She dropped six seconds off her personal best time, which is an outstanding accomplishment for the first dual meet of the year,” senior Andrea Lippin said.

    Lippin timed a third-place finish with a 10:35.61 in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

    “I think we did a great job getting up and cheering behind the blocks, uniting as a team,” Lippin said. “Even though Utah swam faster, we had some great personal swims.”

    The Tritons are back in action on Nov. 4 at UC Santa Barbara. The meet is set to start at 10 a.m.

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