UCSD Set to Dive Into Conference Championships

    With the Pacific Coast Swimming Conference Championships looming, the UCSD men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams tried to make the most of their competition against UC Irvine on Jan. 27 by experimenting with some new competition methods.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian
    The men’s and women’s teams lost, 175.5-115.5 and 179-121 respectively, to UC Irvine on Jan. 27, but look for redemption in the Pacific Coast Swimming Conference Championships on Feb. 7.

    “”We were trying different people in different events,”” senior Jacob Dong said. “”Irvine’s a very good team, but we were testing things out.””

    Though the Tritons got some good practice in before facing their tough conference rivals, the men’s team lost 175.5-115.5, and the women fared the same, falling 179-121 to the Anteaters.

    Though both teams took overall losses, there were some bright spots for the Tritons, as both 200-meter freestyle relay teams won on the final day of competition.

    “”The team did well; it was our last tuneup before the championship,”” said senior Susan Bell, who won the 200 breaststroke in 2 minutes and 22.86 seconds. “”It was more of getting into the mentality and working out the kinks.””

    Sophomore Kendall Bohn out-swam her competition by more than a full second in the 100 breaststroke, while senior Emily Harlan also placed first in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.71.

    The Tritons may not have all the best individual swimmers and divers, but they have great depth and stay competitive because a lot of Tritons place in positions that earn points. Though not many Tritons took first place overall, sophomore Shannon Simonds did well in the 1,000 freestyle, coming in only four-tenths of a second behind the winner. In the 200 butterfly, sophomore Jennifer Sims and freshman Karla Holman finished second and third, respectively.

    For the men, sophomore Dan Gluvers won the 200 individual medley and sophomore Devin Ancona took first place in the 100 backstroke. Senior Tim Fuller improved the team’s score by finishing second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 50 freestyle.

    “”We may have a meet where the majority of the events are not won by us, but we do well because we have a solid group of people getting second, third and fourth,”” Dong said.

    UCSD will need all of its swimmers and divers to step up and do well to duplicate their success at the PCSC Championships. Last season, the men’s team finished second, a feat its members want to improve upon this year.

    Dong said that the men’s team beat one of the favorites, Cal State Bakersfield, in a dual meet earlier in the season, and that the Tritons have a very legitimate chance to win it all this year.

    The women’s team expects great things as well. The Tritons just might be the favorites as they head into the meet to defend another title.

    “”It’s a really big meet [for me], because I’ve never lost,”” senior Lauren O’Neal said. “”I think we have a really strong team — it looks promising.””

    While some players from both teams already have spots in the NCAA championships, UCSD will look to add more titles to that list. Junior diver Andrew Skewes and senior diver Daniel Gordh were able to post NCAA-qualifying scores during the UC Irvine dual meet and will get the chance to compete against the best swimmers and divers in the nation.

    “”I think the biggest thing is staying healthy and focused,”” Fuller said. “”We’ve prepared the entire year like champions, now it’s time for us to prove we are champions.””

    The PCSC Championships will be held in Long Beach, Calif. Feb. 7 to Feb. 10.

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