Tritons Dive Into Action

    The UCSD swimming and diving team kicked off its season with the Blue vs. Gold Meet on Oct. 11 during which the team split and competed against each other. The Tritons’ first official meet will be on Oct. 25 when UCSD hosts Claremont. The team hopes that its recruiting class of 20 athletes will bring it back to the top of conference. (Erik Jepsen/Guardian)

    SWIVE — With most of last season’s team returning and a whole class of new recruits, the UCSD swimming and diving team looks primed to contend for the Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference Championship.

    “We’re coming into the season expecting to win the conference championship,” head coach Scott McGihon said.

    The Tritons placed second in conference on the men’s side and third on the women’s side last season, a year after both teams won the conference title in the 2006-07 campaign.

    “That’s our number one goal — to win conference,” senior captain Steve Hardy said. “We have some great new members and a positive attitude to get back to No. 1 in conference.”

    The Tritons are fielding a much different team than last season.

    “We didn’t really graduate too many people, and we have a rookie class of about 20 men and women,” McGihon said. “It’s a different dynamic than last season. Every practice has turned into quite a competition.”

    The competition went from practice to the starting blocks when the Tritons split into two teams for the annual Blue vs. Gold Meet. While the meet does not officially count for anything, it allowed a chance for certain Tritons to shine in real competition.

    On the men’s side, Hardy won three events for the Gold team and, according to McGihon, was one of the standouts, with victories in the 50-meter backstroke, 150-meter backstroke and 300-meter individual medley.

    The women’s team was led by senior Kendall Bohn, freshman Shea Kopp, junior Karla Holman and freshman Alexandra Henley, who each won two events for their respective teams.

    After an alumni meet on Oct. 18, UCSD will start its season with a dual meet against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Oct. 25 at home. Even with their first meet around the corner, the Tritons’ focus is on improving themselves as opposed to worrying about their opponents.

    “We have about three weeks of pretty tough training,” McGihon said.

    The meet will give the Tritons a chance to figure out what UCSD’s best top-to-bottom lineup is, something that is uncertain due to the large number of recruits.
    “It gives us an opportunity to race and try people in a few events that they haven’t swam in before,” McGihon said.

    Even though the Blue vs. Gold Meet is competitive, Hardy is eager to get into real competition.

    “We haven’t raced since Nationals so we want to get our heads on straight and get a feel for the competition we have.”

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