This year's Arena Invitational will again feature a formidable field, with nine men's and 13 women's squads, all from the NCAA Division I aside from UCSD. Close to 500 swimmers in all will be in Long Beach for the meet.
The men's programs present will be Air Force, Arizona State, BYU, Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Hawai'i, Stanford and UC Santa Barbara. Stanford is rated third in the latest CollegeSwimming.com/College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Coaches poll. The women's competition boasts Arizona State, BYU, California, Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Hawai'i, LMU, Pepperdine, San Diego State, San Jose State, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. California, back-to-back national champions and winners of three out of the last four Division I national crowns, is ranked third. UCLA (15), Arizona State (16) and San Diego State (25) are also ranked on the women's side.
A total of 18 swimming events, with 13 individual, five relay and no diving, will be contested. Each day of the meet will begin with men's preliminary events at 9 a.m. The women will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the men's session. Finals start at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Saturday's finals will begin at either 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
Thursday's program includes the 200 freestyle relay, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and 400 medley relay. The 200 medley relay, 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 800 freestyle relay are set to take place on Friday. The 2012 Arena Invitational will conclude Saturday with the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay.
Single-day tickets for the 2012 Arena Invitational are $15 for general admission and $5 for students and children. A three-day session pass can be purchased on Thursday only, for $35, with a two-day pass available on Friday only, for $25.
The Arena Invitational has been called the Nike Cup and Toshiba Classic, among other names, over the years. Stanford won comfortably on the men's side among nine participants a year ago with 2,142 points. California topped the field of 20 women's teams with 989 points.
The UCSD men have posted four straight top-five finishes at the Arena Invitational. Last year, they finished third with 814.5 points, behind only Stanford and UC Santa Barbara. Junior captain Nicholas Korth was a top highlight, as he won the 100 breaststroke in a school-record time of 53.70, and placed second in the 200 breast. Current sophomore Dane Stassi was third in the 200 butterfly. The Triton women wound up 10th in 2011 with 337 points.
LAST TIME OUT
The Triton men and women both lost to Division I rival UC Santa Barbara on the road on Friday, Nov. 2. UCSD swimmers and divers won nine of 32 combined events.
The highlight for the Triton men was sophomore Stassi sweeping the butterfly events for a second straight meet, again with each in B-standard times. Junior Luke Calkins won on both the one- and three-meter springboards. Remaining UCSD event winners were freshman Allyson Cohen with her first collegiate success off the one-meter board, Korth (200 breast), Paul Li (200 free), Sierra Robbins (100 free) and Anji Shakya (200 free). Both the UCSD men and women dropped to an even 1-1 in dual meets.
Team captains for the 2012-13 season were voted on at the conclusion of the prior year, with Korth, fellow junior Shakya, and seniors Bethany Dong and Julius Espiritu earning that distinction.
Competition for the UCSD swimmers concludes for the 2012 calendar year with this week's Arena Invitational. The Triton divers will head to Las Vegas, Nev., for the UNLV Winter Invite, Dec. 15-16. The full squads then return to dual-meet action together on Saturday, Jan. 5, hosting Cal State East Bay and Grand Canyon at 12 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --