Tritons Hold Their Own Against D-I Rivals

    The Triton men and women placed second in a triple meet against Division-I programs at home, defeating Cal State Bakersfield and losing to UC Davis. (Erik Jepsen/Guardian)

    SWIMMING & DIVING — The men’s and women’s swim teams started off this past weekend with a boom and finished just as strongly. Competing in a triple meet against Division-I schools UC Davis and Cal State Bakersfield at home on Nov. 9, the Tritons held their own and made quite a splash against two big-name programs. The Lady Tritons set the tone with a win in the 400-yard medley relay race while the Triton men left an impression on their opponents with a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

    The women’s medley relay team, comprised of sophomore Anju Shimura, junior Karla Holman, senior Kendall Bohn and senior captain Shannon Simonds, finished first with a time of 3:56.81.

    “We just swam out of our minds,” Simonds said after the race.

    At the close of the day, the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay team almost took both relays, finishing a mere 13 milliseconds behind the Aggies. The race began with freshman Shea Kopp, followed by senior captain Aubrey Panis, Simonds and anchored by senior Erinn Deters, finishing with a cumulative time of 1:37.54. This race drew a huge crowd and was only eclipsed by the size of the crowd hovering over the men’s race that followed it. The Triton men closed the day with a strong win in the 200-yard freestyle relay, led by freshman Sam Stromberg, junior captain Dan Perdew, freshman Blake Langland and anchored by junior Todd Langland. The team finished with a cumulative time of 1:25.62 to win the event.

    With this being only the second meet of the season for UCSD, Perdew is already happy with the swimmers’ progress.

    “The team showed improvement from last meet’s win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, but still had room for improvement,” Perdew said.

    Not knowing what to expect from two Division-I schools so early in the year, the Triton teams only knew that they would be pushed by the competition. The Aggies came out on top, with the men’s team posting a 149-92 victory over the Triton men and the Aggie women winning over the Lady Tritons 135-107. The Tritons placed second with a 145-95 win over Cal State Bakersfield on the men’s side and a decisive 185-56 win on the women’s side.

    Even though the Tritons were unable to overcome the Aggies, head coach Scott McGihon said he was happy with his team’s performance in the Tritons’ second competition.

    “We swam real well and showed our depth,” he said. “We won all but one relay and had a good showing today.”

    The Tritons had some outstanding individual performances at the meet, with special accolades going to freshman Alexandra Henley, senior captain Steven Hardy and Perdew. Henley swam on the third-place 200-yard freestyle relay team, took second in the 200-yard backstroke and placed second in the 400-yard individual medley. Hardy finished second in the 200-yard backstroke and also swam the backstroke leg of the 400-yard medley relay team, which took fifth place.

    “I had better times than ever before,” Hardy said. “This is good competition to get us prepared for the level of our conference meets.”

    Perdew also had a strong showing, taking first place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.27 seconds, and also was the second leg of the first-place 200-yard freestyle relay team, which finished with a time of 1:25.62.

    “All I think about is beating the people next to me,” Perdew said.

    As a team, the Tritons can feel good about how they performed against their opponents, especially swimming powerhouse UC Davis.

    “We had some really good swims and we swam well as a team,” Panis said.

    With this meet under their belts, the Tritons will race on Nov. 14 at UC Santa Barbara and then focus on preparing for the Nike Cup in February.

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