Faster Times Reap Few Results at Home

    Despite posting better times than in their season-opening loss to the University of Utah on Oct. 28, the UCSD men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams dropped consecutive meets to Division I UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 4 and again to UC Davis the following day.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian
    Despite many first-place finishes, the Tritons couldn’t get the push they needed and fell to Division I UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis on Nov. 4-5 to extend their losing streak to three games.

    “We had some really good swims on both the men’s and women’s side,” senior individual medley swimmer Lauren O’Neill said. “We started off the meet with a win in the first event, the women’s 200 medley relay, and finished off the meet with a win in the last event, the men’s 200 free relay — both of which were really exciting.”

    The UCSD men’s and women’s teams suffered dual losses to the Gauchos by scores of 172-84 and 146-112, respectively.

    Despite the losses, O’Neill was pleased with the team’s effort.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian
    Despite capturing the 50- and 100-meter freestyle wins by seniors Emily Harlan and Tim Fuller, the men’s and women’s teams suffered dual losses to the Gauchos.

    “Considering we only had about half of our team travel to Santa Barbara, we did really well,” O’Neill said. “We had some really good swims and the attitude of the team was amazing.”

    While senior team captain Tim Fuller won both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events, the rest of the Triton men held their own with second-place finishes by Kevin Lee in the 200 individual medley and Jesse Martin in the 200 backstroke.

    On the women’s side, senior Emily Harlan set the pace with first-place finishes in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.43 seconds and in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.37.

    “Emily Harlan and Tim Fuller, our two senior sprinters, did a fantastic job winning both the 50 and 100 freestyles on the men’s and women’s side, and took the Gauchos by surprise,” senior distance swimmer Andrea Lippin said.

    After losing to the Gauchos, the Tritons continued to improve their times despite losing both the men’s and women’s competitions to the UC Davis team.

    The men’s team hoped to take a young Davis team by surprise and despite winning seven events, the Tritons could not pull off the upset, losing 157-143.

    Fuller once again won the 100 freestyle, improving his time from 47.03 against UC Santa Barbara to 45.52 against UC Davis.

    The team combined to win two relays — the 200 medley and 400 freestyle — and sophomore Devin Ancona, junior Evan Hsiao and senior Daniel Gordh also won individual events in the meet.

    The UCSD women’s team only won four events, losing 174-126 to UC Davis.

    The highlight for the women’s team was its victory in the 200 medley relay, as senior Susan Bell, sophomore Kendall Bohn, junior Heather Szmidt and Harlan combined to win with a time of 1 minute, 47.54 seconds.

    Unfortunately for the Tritons, they had to start the season against three consecutive Division I opponents, rather than the Division II teams they will face in the NCAA national championships in Buffalo, N.Y.

    However, Hsiao welcomed the challenge.

    “Santa Barbara was a tough meet, but good experience for the rookies,” he said. “It’s always good to see how we measure up against Division I schools.”

    Last season, the men’s and women’s teams lost all three meets to the University of Utah, UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis.

    Compared to last season, both teams have made progress against these Division I competitors.

    Last season, the women’s team lost to UC Santa Barbara 151-99. And both the men’s and women’s team were more competitive this season than they were last season against UC Davis.

    Despite previous losses to these Division I foes, last season, the women’s team won a third straight Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference title, and went on to, once again, finish third in the NCAA championships.

    The teams have also made inroads since their opening loss to the University of Utah.

    “There was a lot we learned from the meet against Utah,” O’Neill said. “Our turns and walls were definitely something we learned we needed to work some more on, and I think they were definitely a lot better.”

    As the Speedo Cup approaches, the team will continue to focus on their turns, as well as on building team unity.

    “We need to improve on team communication and keeping the lines of communication open between rookies and upperclassmen, and between the swimmers and coaches,” Hsiao said.

    The Tritons face off on Nov. 11 against rival Cal State Bakersfield, which recently moved to Division I.

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