Decade of Dominance! UC San Diego Men and Women are Both Conference Champions for 10th Straight Year
LA MIRADA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men and women both earned their 10th consecutive league titles as the 2018 Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships concluded Saturday night at the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center.
Tritons earned gold medals in five of Saturday's 14 swimming events. One individual victory was more than enough for the sixth-ranked women to hold off Fresno Pacific, having entered with a hefty margin of over 300 points. The final difference was 1620.5-1319. The No. 16 UC San Diego men, however, were nursing a very precarious 18-point cushion over FPU in pursuit of extending their own streak of success to a decade. First-year head coach David Marsh's men came out firing on all cylinders, however, winning four of the first five A finals at night, and ultimately just had too much depth for the runner-up Sunbirds, outpointing them, 1710-1577.
Individual champions from Saturday's last session for the men were freshmen Zack Reuter and Tenny Chong, junior Garrett Tse, and finally senior All-American Kevin Wylder. Senior Alex Rodman completed her sweep of the backstroke distances on the women's side, taking the 200-yard race in 2:00.68.
Haley Hamza turned in the first school record of the season by a Triton swimmer, timing 16:54.89 to place second in the 1650 freestyle, behind PCSC Championships Women's Swimmer of the Meet Laura Fornshell (16:34.31), an FPU sophomore. Hamza's mark bettered fellow fourth-year senior Stephanie Sin's 16:55.65 from her PCSC meet debut back in 2015. Junior Reagan Eickert was fourth (17:11.81).
Triton senior and 2016 U.S. Paralympian Reilly Boyt broke her second American record in as many days. Having gotten under her own standard Friday in the S6 classification of the 100-yard backstroke, on Saturday she swam 1:29.80 in her final collegiate race for a new mark in the SM6 100-yard individual medley, besting her friend and fellow Rio Paralymian Sophia Herzog's mark of 1:30.23 from 2015.
Reuter, out of Carmichael, was named the PCSC Championships Men's Co-Swimmer of the Meet, having won the 400 individual medley on Friday night and the 1650 on Saturday. Tritons swept the diving awards, with double winners Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS) and Trevor Jackson (Ramona/Ramona HS) garnering Women's Diver of the Meet and Men's Diver of the Meet distinction. First-year head diving coach Rafaella Suarez was the Diving Coach of the Meet.
Reuter timed 15:56.93 in winning the mile on Saturday, with Jack Spitser (16:07.53) and Alejandro Ortiz (16:12.13) going 3-4. Chong went 1:47.31 to touch first in the 200 back, with fellow freshman Tyler James (1:52.15) and senior captain Austin Takeda (1:55.40) placing 4-6 in the A final. Tse repeated in the 200 breaststroke (2:00.82), followed in 1-2-3 by sophomores Edgar Chin (2:03.13) and Jack Moyles (2:04.06). Wylder won his fifth individual gold in the 200 fly (1:47.43) after three wins the last three years in the 100 fly, and a first-place finish in the 50 free as a junior. Fellow senior Kevin Fink (1:50.50) and sophomore Alexander Gilchrist (1:54.42) were 4-5.
Both UC San Diego 400 free relays were runners-up to Fresno Pacific to end the meet. Fourth-year senior All-American Julia Toronczak (San Diego/West Hills HS) was sixth (2:06.73) after Rodman in the 200 back, after winning the event three straight times.
Senior captain Haley Murphy was second (51.26) and freshman Ciara Franke fifth (51.50) in the 100 free. On the men's side, it was Sawyer Farmer (45.63), Samuel Lee (46.05), Chris Hargrove (46.25) and Tin Huynh (46.39) going 2-3-5-6 for big points. Rachel Taylor (2:15.53) and fellow freshman Grace Murphy (2:18.58) were 4-6 in the 200 breast.
In the second-ever running of the 100 IM, senior Angie Phetbenjakul was second (58.09) and Lambert eighth (1:01.37) for the women. Samuel Lee (51.34), fellow senior Derek Tanizaki-Hudson (51.89), Moyles (52.18), Huynh (52.53) and Chin (54.81) all made the championship final, winding up 2-3-4-5-7.
"It was a hard-fought battle the whole weekend," remarked Marsh. "Great leadership from the senior class pulled the Tritons through."
A few select Tritons will head to Las Vegas, Nev., this week, for a Last Chance Meet next Saturday, Feb. 24, at UNLV. It was a final opportunity for them to augment their credentials for the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships next month in Greensboro, N.C. Those selections will be made public on March 1.
"Next up is earning a few more qualifying times for Nationals next week in Las Vegas," concluded Marsh."
Triton Notes: UC San Diego student-athletes won 19 of 44 events at the 2018 PCSC Championships, with 14 individual, including a sweep of the four diving competitions by Brooke Abrantes and Trevor Jackson, and five relay successes.