On Jan. 2, the UCSD Swimming and Diving teams defeated Division-II counterparts Truman State University. The Trtion men earned a clean sweep in all 14 events — scoring a 228-30 victory ove r the opposition — while the women won 184.5-77.5 and took 13 of their 14 events (Erik Jepsen/Guardian FILE).

SWIMMING & DIVING — After coming out highly competitive in 2009 with pre-season fixtures, conference play and several multi-school tournaments, the Triton men and women got an equally fresh start in 2010 with a whopping victory over Division-II powerhouse Truman State University.

“[Truman] has been a strong winning program for five to six years now, so it was great to get that opportunity to compete against them,” head coach Scott McGihon said.

The men’s team scored a decisive 228-30 victory against the Bulldogs, winning all 14 events. The Triton women took 13 of 14 events, and won by a margin of 184.5-77.5.

“We were really happy about how we swam against them,” McGihon said. “And it may have looked like the score was a little lopsided, but they’re going to be ready to swim fast at the national championships, so it’s not like we’re going to let up by any means.”

The meet, which the Tritons hosted over winter break, was decided very early on in the match-up. Freshman Katherine Tse (50 free, 100 free), junior Anju Shimura (100 back, 200 back), freshman Beth Dong (1,000 free, 500 free) and sophomore Alex Henley (200 IM, 200 free) all won two individual events on the women’s side. In the men’s division, senior Jereme Barnett-Woods (1,000 free, 500 free), freshman Julius Espiritu (100 back, 200 back) and senior Daniel Perdew (50 free, 100 fly) each won multiple events.

After the recess, UCSD swimmers followed up their dominant individual displays with a collaborative relay effort that smashed the competition.

The emphatic win against Truman State gave the Tritons an idea of the kind of high-level competition they will face at the National Championships. Last year at the competition, UCSD and Truman State finished third and fourth respectively.

“It’s been a couple months before we’ve had a meet,” McGihon said. “We were definitely eager to swim again. It’s rare that we get to swim against an established Division-II program, so we wanted to take the opportunity to do well.”

The Trtion swimmers will look to build on their performance against Truman State University when they take on rival Loyola Marymount Univerity on Saturday, Jan. 9. (Erik Jepsen/Guardian FILE)

Sophomore swimmer Alexandra Henley said she was pleasantly surprised at how well the team performed, especially coming off a two-month break from competition.

“The meet was good for everyone to see where we were at,” Henley said. “It was also a good way to start the month, because this Saturday we’re up against Loyola Marymount University — a big rival — and we can go into it with heads high and beat them as well.”

LMU and UCSD have always competed fiercely against each other, but McGihon said the team is keeping this meet in perspective, putting their sights to the greater season goal.

“We’re focusing more on the national champions than anything else,” McGihon said. “But this is a really big rivalry, so we’re going to give it our best effort.”

On the same day, immediately following the meet against LMU, the women’s team will be racing against Kansas University.

Readers can contact Tyler Nelson at [email protected].