Tritons Prove Their Worth at Nike Cup

    The Tritons wasted no time in the largest meet of their season so far, posting impressive swims in the men’s and women’s 200 yard freestyle relay races on the first day of competition. Senior captain Daniel Perdew pulled out a first-place finish in the 50 yard freestyle on the opening day as well. (Erik Jepsen/Guardian File)

    SWIMMING — After many, many miles in the pool, the UCSD swim team completed its first major tournament of the season — the Nike Cup. It was a long and grueling meet, but the Tritons emerged as a stronger team with great hopes for the future. The team competed in over 20 events in the course of three days and confronted Division-I strongholds such as UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge and Brigham Young University. Despite the arduous meet and the lofty opposition, the Tritons demonstrated their grit and determination and showcased great performances from some of their best swimmers.

    The meet began in the afternoon on Nov. 20 with a strong showing from the women’s 200 yard freestyle relay team, which took second place with a time of 1:43.40. Led by freshman Shea Kopp and followed by senior captain Aubrey Panis, junior Ashtyn Douglass and senior Erinn Deters, the team gave the Tritons a solid first race of the day.

    “We swam really well,” Panis said. “It was good to see us go out there and swim like that.”

    After the Triton women had a strong race with their opening relay, the men’s team — led by freshman Sam Stromburg, senior captain Daniel Perdew, freshman Blake Langland and junior Todd Langland — knew they couldn’t be outdone, following with a third place finish and a final time of 1:22.61. But Perdew wasn’t done yet. To epitomize the day for the Tritons, Perdew swam an incredible 50 yard freestyle race, taking first place with a time of 20.44 seconds.

    “I’m not going to lie, it felt pretty awesome to swim that fast,” Perdew said. “I swam way faster than I ever had before at this point in the season.”

    After a strong first day for the Tritons, both the men’s and women’s teams were sitting in fourth place, ahead of Division-I squads UC Irvine and University of the Pacific, and also ahead of bitter rival Loyola Marymount University.

    “We killed Loyola Marymount,” Panis said. “It wasn’t even close.”

    Day two of the meet also had outstanding finishes from some top Tritons. The women’s 200 yard medley relay team — comprised of Kopp, freshman Sadie O’Brien, sophomore Jessica Ferguson and Panis — took third place with a time of 1:45.50. The Triton women also posted a strong showing in the 800 yard freestyle relay race, taking fourth place with legs by freshman Alexandra Henley, sophomore Anju Shimura, Douglas and once again anchored by Panis.

    Collectively swimming faster than they have in any other meet this season, the Tritons qualified 21 swimmers for the nationals — 14 women and seven men. UCSD’s next meet is on Jan. 10 against LMU. (Jimmy Kan/Guardian File)

    “We put together some times we would be happy to see in March in the finals,” head coach Scott McGihon said. “It was great to see us go out and perform like that.”

    Some outstanding individual performances included senior Kendall Bohn finishing second in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.79, Shimura taking fourth place in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.46 and Henley placing fourth in the 200 yard individual medley at 4:27.60. The women’s team took fourth overall on the second day of competition with the third and final day of competition looming ahead. On the men’s side, the Tritons had a very successful 800 yard freestyle relay, with a team consisting of Perdew, sophomore Brandon Maryatt, freshman Michael Lorch and Todd Langland finishing fourth in 6:55.47.

    But the Tritons’ top performance was undoubtedly in the men’s 200 yard medley relay team of senior captain Steven Hardy, junior Pablo Carrillo, Perdew and Todd Langland. The UCSD men took second place with a time of 1:32.21 and finished the second day in fifth place, looking ahead to their last day.

    “A lot of people swam faster than we expected them to,” Perdew said. “The meet went really well.”

    The Tritons continued to post strong swims on the final day of action. Bohn took first place in the 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 2:16.16 and to close the day, the women’s 400 yard freestyle relay took fourth place with a time of 3:27.00. On the men’s side, Perdew was not done with his domination of individual events as he took yet another first place, this time in the 100 yard freestyle in 44.78 seconds. Close behind Perdew was another elite UCSD swimmer, Todd Langland, who took second place in the same event, finishing only a quarter of a second later. As the day was coming to a close, the Tritons knew they needed a strong finish before their long break between meets and they delivered. The 400 yard freestyle relay team with Todd Langland, Brandon Maryatt, Blake Langland and Perdew, took second place with a time 3:03.74. Overall, the men’s team took fifth place at the meet with 679.5 points and the women’s team took fourth place with 817.5 points.

    At the end of the three-day competition, the women’s team qualified 14 swimmers for nationals and the men’s team qualified seven. The Tritons have no competitions in December and will commit themselves to training for their next meet on Jan. 10 when the Triton women host Loyola Marymount.

    “We have finals week but after that we have training camp for a few weeks to prepare for our next dual meet in January,” McGihon said.

    The Tritons will have their first real experience against conference opponents in a dual meet with Loyola Marymount, which will help determine where UCSD stands. At the Nike Cup, the Loyola Marymount women finished seventh with a total of 383 points.

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