THREE OF THE BEST

    School records fell left and right as the Tritons produced three national champions, but it was a team effort that highlighted the UCSD swimming and diving team’s campaign at the NCAA Division II Championships held in San Antonio, Texas from March 9-12. The men’s team placed second — its best finish ever in Division II — and the women’s team placed third for the ninth time in 11 years as the Tritons took home their best combined team performance ever on the Division II level.

    “We really performed like I thought we would, and placed as high as we could have,” head coach Scott McGihon said. “Maybe we could have swam better in one or two events, but we still performed amazingly well.”

    Junior Matt Herman turned in the Tritons’ first individual title on the first day of competition, winning the 1000 freestyle in a school-record time of 9:02.67.

    Fellow junior Alex Henley added to the Tritons’ haul on the third day, successfully defending her title in the 200 butterfly. This was the third individual title of Henley’s career. Henley also finished second in the 200 backstroke, just .24 seconds behind the winner.

    Herman continued his dominance of the distance events on the final day of competition, capturing the national title in the 1650 freestyle. Herman’s time of 15:12.78 is a new school record, and he also took fifth in the 500 freestyle. Freshman Nick Korth then finished the meet in a big way for the Tritons, taking home the national title in the 200 breaststroke with a school record time of 1:57.19. Korth also took fourth in the 100 breaststroke.

    But it was the team result that was the most impressive from the Tritons. This was the first time since 2005 that both the men’s and women’s team earned top three finishes. In total, 28 athletes scored points for the Tritons, either individually or as part of a relay team.

    “Having everyone contribute — that’s part of being a team championship,” McGihon said in an interview with the UCSD Athletics Department. “When I congratulated both Matt [Herman] and Nick [Korth] on their wins, by saying, ‘you did it,’ both responded ‘no, we did it.’ You try to instill that emotion or philosophy with your team and I feel this team responded to it this week.”

    UCSD finished fourth in the 800 free relay, with a team of Henley, Anjali Shakya, Emily Adamczyk and Anju Shimura. The 400 free relay team — consisting of Henley, Shimura, Katherine Tse and Olivia Fountain — took fifth place.

    Like Henley, Adamcyzk competed in six events over the four-day meet,  the most of anyone on the team. She placed third in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:14.28.

    Sophomore Tyler Runsten took second place in the three-meter diving final, and fifth in the one-meter event.

    UCSD took fifth in the men’s 200 free, with the team of Reid McCallum, Samuel Stromberg, Griffin Bracke and Blake Langland coming in at 1:21.80. The 400-medley team of Langland, Korth, Eric Owens and Adam Yen placed third with a time of 3:16.38.

    Sophomore Adam Rice finished fifth with a time of 3:56.58 in the 400 individual medley.

    Additional Reporting by Tyler Nelson

    Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].



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