LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving teams began their 2017-18 dual-meet seasons by rolling past Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Canyonview Aquatic Center on Saturday.
The event marked the official beginning of the David Marsh era for UC San Diego, as the 2016 U.S. Women's Olympic Team head coach took charge of his first meet for the Tritons after his appointment on June 27.
The UCSD men (1-0), ranked No. 7 in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division II preseason poll, won their meet by the final score of 148-135, while the No. 10 Triton women (1-0) took a 175-114 decision. The Stags and Athenas, rated No. 14 and No. 16, respectively, in the NCAA Division III, are both 0-1 for starters. UCSD and CMS have now faced off for 10 straight seasons, with the Tritons unbeaten in those meetings.
Fourth-year senior Kevin Fink was one of a handful of Tritons to earn a pair of individual wins, doing a tough double in the 200-yard butterfly (1:55.13) and later in come-from-behind fashion over the back half in the 500 freestyle (4:44.22).
The freshman duo of Tenny Chong for the men and Ciara Franke (San Diego/La Jolla HS) for the women, crowned their collegiate debuts by sweeping the backstroke distances and sprints, respectively. Chong, out of Arcadia, went 50.79 in the 100 and then 1:50.70 over 200 yards. Franke, a local product and dual-sport athlete who is also on the UCSD water polo roster, sped 24.45 in the 50 and 52.73 in the 100.
A third rookie, Rachel Taylor, hit the wall first in the 200 breaststroke (2:19.53) and 200 individual medley (2:09.36).
Sophomore Sawyer Farmer (21.71 and 46.98) duplicated Franke's double on the men's side. Junior Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS) swept the women's springboard diving competitions, totaling 249.75 points in the one-meter event and 241.87 from three meters. Sophomore Kaitlyn Ritchey bested the field in both distance events in 10:27.45 (1000) and 5:07.25 (500).
Lindsay Clark was one more freshman who grabbed an individual win, doing so in the 200 fly (2:09.12).
Remaining individual winners were Alejandro Ortiz (1000, 9:50.13), Alayna Gocke (200 free, 1:53.82), Samuel Lee (200 free, 1:44.24), Angie Phetbenjakul (100 breast, 1:05.64), fellow senior Alex Rodman (200 back, 2:06.40), Amanda Sumrow (100 fly, 58.83), and Garrett Tse (100 fly, 50.23).
Chong also anchored the men's 200 medley relay to a first-place finish at the start of the day, behind fellow freshman Tyler James, Derek Tanizaki-Hudson and Tse (1:33.94), and led off the fastest 200 free relay (1:24.68) at the end. He was followed on that relay by Farmer, Will Knox and Lee.
In the women's relays, the Tritons' B foursome in the 200 medley of Elee Wong, Lily Maxfield, Amanda Rios and Haley Murphy went 1:47.67 to touch out the UCSD A quartet (1:47.81) and earn the home side maximum points for starters. Phetbenjakul, Rios, Franke and Murphy combined to go 1:40.74 for the best time in the 200 free.
Of the 32 total swimming and diving events that comprised the meet, Tritons posted the top marks in 26 of them. With the results well in hand, they exhibitioned some of the late races.
Two NCAA consideration qualifiers both came from UCSD women, those in the form of Ritchey's 1000 and Taylor's 200 breast. Chong's leadoff leg in the 200 free relay of 20.85 was a mere .04 seconds off a first B cut for the promising rookie.
The UC San Diego swimmers are at Division I rival UC Santa Barbara next Saturday, Nov. 4, with the action at Campus Pool beginning at 11 a.m. The Triton men knocked off the Gauchos for the first time in program history a year ago, 137-124. The teams have met there annually since at least 2005. UCSB does not sponsor diving.