Tritons Rout Cal Baptist in Final Home Meet

SWIMMING & DIVING — UCSD honored its 10 graduating members with a victory sendoff against Cal Baptist University at Canyonview Pool on Jan. 23.

The Tritons maintained their focus despite the emotional nature of the home finale. The men’s team emerged victorious over the Lancers 173-127, while the women won 15 of 16 events to take a 231-66 victory in the team’s penultimate matchup of the season.

“It feels really good,” head coach Scott McGihon said. “On the women’s side, we had some really good performances — and it was really good to get in today, especially since we only have one more meet before conference champions. As far as the men, it’s the first time we’ve ever beaten Cal Baptist, and we had tremendous performances from [them] too.”

The men’s and women’s 200-yard medley teams came off the blocks with two quick victories, setting the tempo for the Tritons.

“They’re in our conference,” coach McGihon said. “So we see them at conference championships. We’ve beaten them there, just never in a dual meet. It just shows the great depth we have on the team.”

Photos by Erik Jepsen/Guardian

Freshman Beth Dong followed the early victories by capturing first place in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:29.06 — 14 seconds ahead of the next closest competitor. Dong went on to win the 500-yard freestyle with a decisive time of 5:08.34.

Senior Jereme Barnett-Woods won the 1,000-yard freestyle by 11 seconds, posting a 9:48.23 time. He later returned to the pool to notch a victory in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:42.66.

The Tritons swept the entire podium in the men’s and women’s 100-yard breaststroke. Senior Juan Pablo Carrillo touched in first with a time of 56.40, four seconds ahead of his closest teammate.

UCSD also took the top three spots in the 200-yard butterfly, seeing sophomore Alex Henley register a time of 2:03.88, claiming victory in an event she had not competed in for four years. Henley was also victorious in the 400-yard individual medley, where she won by 22 seconds with a time of 4:28.29.

In the speediest event of the day, junior Jessica Ferguson won a close 50-yard freestyle heat with a time of 24.64 seconds. Once the men were up, senior Dan Perdew was the first to flip, and powered through the final sprint to win with a time of 21.14 seconds. Perdew’s next victory came in the 100-yard butterfly.

Junior Anju Shimura easily beat out the competition in both the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke events, with times of 58.56 seconds and 2:06.42 minutes, respectively.

To close the day, the women’s 200-yard freestyle team — Shimura, Ferguson, sophomore Shea Kopp and freshman Amber Tan — won with a time of 1:37.73.

The men’s team — Perdew, freshman Julius Espiritu, senior Todd Langland and sophomore Blake Langland — won the same event with a close time of 1:23.73.

“For [the seniors], it’s a much bigger emotional event,” coach McGihon said. “But I know we’ll get to see them again. And many of them will be swimming at nationals — and it’s bigger to see them swim at conference than at a dual meet.”

After earning a handful of automatic bids to the national championships this past weekend, the Tritons hope to add more at the dual meet at UC Davis next Saturday. The team will then travel to the Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference Championships, taking place Feb. 10 to Feb. 13 in Long Beach.

Coach McGihon feels that the upcoming showdown will be a defining meet for the Tritons, as they will be facing off against their conference rivals for the last time before nationals.

“We just want to drive home that it’s the little details that make all the difference,” McGihon said. “When you’re going after a championship performance, you can’t overlook the little things.”

Readers can contact Tyler Nelson at [email protected].

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