Both Triton Relays Earn Top-16 Finishes on Day One of NCAA Championships, With Women Winning Consolation Final
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The University of California San Diego had both its men's and women's 200 medley relays in consolation finals and thus came away with eight All-America honorable mentions on day one of the 2018 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships Wednesday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Wingate University and the Greensboro Sports Commission are serving as co-hosts.
Through five events on the women's side, UC San Diego is 17th with 18 points. The Triton men are 21st with six points after four events. Queens of North Carolina, the three-time defending champion in both team competitions, tops both standings.
The women's 200-yard medley relay of senior Alex Rodman (Coronado/Coronado HS), freshman Grace Murphy, and seniors Angie Phetbenjakul and tri-captain Haley Murphy, went 1:41.67 to win the consolation final at night for ninth place overall. The younger Murphy sister, Grace, hit the water in fourth, .79 seconds back, before blazing into first during her breaststroke leg (27.90) by .46 seconds. The Tritons ultimately won easily, by .77 seconds over their nearest competitor, Sioux Falls. The foursome had been 11th-fastest in 1:43.09 in the morning, with Rodman's 50-yard leadoff backstroke leg of 26.07 seconds her best as a Triton. The Coronado High School graduate bettered that in 26.04 in the B final.
The men's relay of freshman Tenny Chong, sophomore Edgar Chin, junior Garrett Tse and senior Kevin Wylder, went 1:29.41 for sixth in the consolation final and 14th overall. The quartet had gone a season-best 1:28.79 for 12th coming out of morning preliminaries, with lead backstroker Chong timing 22.85 for his best as a Triton.
In the 1000 freestyle, senior Haley Hamza was 10th (10:13.91) after the morning activity, but following the fastest heat to start the evening session, she dipped to 18th, missing out on top-16 All-America honorable mention. Junior Reagan Eickert was 26th in a season-best 10:19.83, with sophomore Kaitlyn Ritchey 36th (10:35.88).
True freshman Rachel Taylor timed 2:04.90 for 19th in the 200 individual medley, winning the second of six heats. She was one spot shy of an alternate position for finals. Junior Amanda Sumrow (San Diego/Patrick Henry HS) went 2:06.72, good for 35th. Both Tritons were making their debut at the NCAA meet.
In the men's 50 free, Chong was 20th (20.31) in his first appearance at the NCAA Championships. Wylder shared the 22nd position in a season-best 20.33.
Phetbenjakul (23.73) and freshman Ciara Franke (23.76) turned in similar times in morning prelims in the 50 free, without advancing, placing in a tie for 34th and a tie for 36th, respectively. Phetbenjakul's time was a season best, as she won the first of seven heats. For Franke, a San Diego native (La Jolla HS) and two-sport standout, it was her first race at the NCAA Championships. She rejoined the swimmers on Monday in North Carolina, after aiding the water polo team to a 4-1 mark over the weekend.
In three-meter springboard diving, junior San Diego products Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS) and Delainey Carlin (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) finished 18th (389.00) and 20th (365.35), respectively, out of 22 qualifiers after 11 dives. Abrantes had picked up All-America honorable mention in the event a season ago in 16th. Carlin advanced into the main draw for the first time in her career on Tuesday. Both Tritons still compete in prelims on the one-meter board this Friday at 11 a.m. PT.
The NCAA Championships continue on Thursday, March 15, with the morning session beginning at 7 a.m. PT, and evening finals at 3 p.m. PT. The 200 free relay, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free and 400 medley relay will be contested. All sessions can be watched for free online at NCAA.com.