LA MIRADA, Calif. - A rousing win in the final race of the night, the men's 400-yard medley relay, was among the many third-day highlights for the University of California San Diego at the 2018 Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships at the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center on Friday.
Triton swimmers and divers earned gold medals in seven of the 14 events contested.
The sixth-ranked UC San Diego women again added to their lead atop the standings, now sitting at 1177.5 points and closing in on a 10th consecutive PCSC crown. Fresno Pacific is closest with 850 points. The No. 16 Triton men began the day in second behind FPU by 18 points, but flipped the script, and also as nine-time defending champions, take an 18-point edge over the Sunbirds, 1084-1066, into the final day.
The men's 400 medley relay avenged last year's runner-up effort to FPU, as freshman Tenny Chong, sophomore Edgar Chin, junior Garrett Tse and senior All-American anchor Kevin Wylder timed a meet-record 3:14.89 to touch out the Sunbirds (3:15.09) by a mere .20 seconds. Chin actually hit the water nearly two seconds behind, but was a full three seconds faster than his FPU counterpart in the breaststroke, giving Tse a one-second lead that the Tritons would hang on to. Chin and Wylder were members of last year's second-place foursome.
Triton senior and 2016 U.S. Paralympian Reilly Boyt broke her own short-course-yards American record in the S6 classification of the 100 back for the second straight PCSC Championships, going 1:30.56 in the evening to get under last year's mark of 1:31.53 by almost a whole second. Boyt also holds the American record in that same event and class in long-course meters, from the 2016 Rio Games. This is her fourth and final PCSC meet.
Upperclassmen and local products Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS) and senior Trevor Jackson (Ramona/Ramona HS) won the women's three-meter (264.40) and men's one-meter (315.15) springboard events, respectively, on Friday afternoon to conclude the diving portion of the meet and complete their sweeps. Patty Sullivan, like Abrantes a junior, was second (244.35) before going on to punch her ticket to the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships in Greensboro, N.C., with her 11-dive score of 439.25. That means that all four of first-year head diving coach Rafaella Suarez's pupils will be on the plane next month, including another junior and local, Delainey Carlin (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), who had booked her spot on account of an 11-dive one-meter score of 425.475, at the University of San Diego on Jan. 27.
In the 100 back, senior Alex Rodman produced a personal record for the second straight PCSC final, this time going 56.09 to hit the wall first after a runner-up placement last February. The mark moved her up from No. 8 to No. 5 all-time at UCSD.
Chin (54.49) and fellow sophomore Jack Moyles (56.35) went 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke. For Chin, it was a first individual PCSC title. His personal-record prelim time of 54.45 keeps him at No. 2 in program history behind Triton legend Nick Korth (52.92). Nobody else was even at 55 seconds on the day.
Two true freshmen were first-time PCSC individual champions in Zack Reuter (3:56.59) in the 400 individual medley, just ahead of senior teammate and 2016 champion Kevin Fink (3:56.82), and Ciara Franke (San Diego/La Jolla HS), who went a personal-record 1:49.99 to take the 200 free. The two-sport star who just played five water polo games at home this past weekend, moved up to No. 6 all-time. She was the only participant all day who was able to get under a minute and a half.
Freshman Rachel Taylor (4:26.59) and junior Amanda Sumrow (4:26.95) were 2-3 in the 400 IM with personal bests. Tse (48.47) was second behind FPU's Aleksei Averchenko (48.21) in the 100 butterfly, with school- and meet-record-holder (46.97) Wylder, who had won the event the past three years, in fourth (48.71). Tse's prelim time of 48.12, good enough for the top seed, advanced him from No. 3 to No. 2 in the record book.
Senior captain Haley Murphy (1:50.86) led a Triton group that went 3-4-5-6 in the 200 free behind champion Franke, as she was followed in by Stephanie Sin (1:50.99), 2017 champion Alayna Gocke (1:51.46), and junior Reagan Eickert (1:52.10). Seniors Samuel Lee and Angie Phetbenjakul earned bronze in the 200 free (1:40.60) and 100 breast (1:02.44), respectively. Chong was second in the 100 back in 49.42.
Sophomore Elee Wong (personal-best 56.27 leadoff), Phetbenjakul, Sumrow and Murphy combined for a mark of 3:47.24 and bronze medals in the 400 medley relay.
The 2018 PCSC Championships will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 17, with preliminaries starting at 9:30 a.m. and finals at 4:30 p.m.
Triton Notes: UC San Diego student-athletes have won 14 of 30 events at the 2018 PCSC Championships, with nine individual, including a sweep of the four diving competitions by Brooke Abrantes and Trevor Jackson, and five relay successes.