MONTEREY PARK, Calif. - The University of California UC San Diego men and women are another step closer to their ninth league titles in succession through the third day of the 2017 Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships at East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium on Friday.
The UCSD women (1051) and men (1145) are atop their respective leaderboards, with Fresno Pacific trailing in second on both sides (794.5, 1074).
Tritons won five of 11 individual finals on Friday night, with the 400-yard medley relays runners-up behind FPU.
Senior Gabriel Hernandez won his second event in as many nights, both now in school-record times. After his success in the 200 individual medley on Thursday, the Venezuela national team member obliterated his own program standard in the 400 IM, going a meet-record 3:49.95. Hernandez had previously broken that mark in just his second competition as a Triton, the Golden West College transfer timing 3:52.52 at November's A3 Performance Invitational. In completing his PCSC IM double, Hernandez became the first Triton swimmer to officially book his or her trip to next month's NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala., getting under the automatic qualifier of 3:51.46. Incredibly, he won by more than 10 full seconds, over 2016 PCSC champion and teammate, junior Kevin Fink (4:00.21).
Junior All-American Kevin Wylder won the 100 butterfly for the third straight year, timing 47.85. He had just on Thursday placed first in the 50 freestyle. Senior All-American Michael Cohn (Solana Beach/Grossmont College) went 1:38.35 to earn his third consecutive PCSC title in the 200 free.
For the women, freshman Alayna Gocke is a first-time individual conference champion, with her season-best time of 1:51.86 in the 200 free. Senior All-American Jaimie Bryan picked up her first individual PCSC crown, in the 100 breaststroke (season-best 1:02.72), leading a 1-2-3 Triton finish ahead of Phetbenjakul (1:02.88) and Lily Maxfield (season-best 1:04.18).
Triton junior and 2016 U.S. Paralympian Reilly Boyt broke the short-course-yards American record in the S6 classification of the 100 backstroke, timing 1:31.53 in just her third such race for UCSD. The mark was over two seconds faster than the previous standard of 1:33.74, set by Casandra Shaffer in October. Boyt already held the American record in that same event and class in long-course meters.
The second-place women's 400 medley relay of juniors Julia Toronczak (Santee/West Hills HS), Angie Phetbenjakul, Jayna Wittenbrink and Sarah Yao, combined for a mark of 3:45.15, with Toronczak's lead backstroke leg of 56.12 a personal record. The men's relay was made up of senior co-captain Julian Jacobs, freshman Edgar Chin, Wylder and Cohn in 3:17.31.
In the 100 back, junior Alex Rodman's lifetime-best 56.72 was good for second. Chin (54.88), Derek Tanizaki-Hudson (56.41) and senior Zach Yong (56.57) were 2-3-4 in the men's 100 breast. Chin's mark was a collegiate best, with Tanizaki-Hudson's 56.28 in prelims moving him into the all-time list at No. 10. Chin was narrowly out-touched by FPU's Maxim Shcherbakov (54.62), who finished third at nationals in 2016. He had gone 54.95 in prelims to already move from No. 4 to No. 2 at UCSD.
Junior tri-captain Haley Murphy was runner-up to Gocke in the 200 free (1:52.13). Wittenbrink (55.80) and freshman Brooke Miles (55.92) were 3-4 in the 100 fly. Sophomore Emily Lambert (PR 56.30) and freshman Anissa Barroso (4:34.29) won consolation finals of 100 fly and 400 IM, respectively, for ninth overall.
Jacobs (50.49) and junior CJ Pais (50.54), the 2015 and 2016 champion, were 2-3 in the 100 back. Sophomore Garrett Tse (48.55; PR 48.38 in prelims) was third in the 100 fly, and junior Austin Takeda (PR 1:39.84) likewise in the 200 free.
The 2017 PCSC Championships will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 11, with preliminaries starting at 9:30 a.m. and finals at 4:30 p.m.