GREENSBORO, N.C. - The University of California San Diego women moved up two more spots behind two All-America performances Friday at the 2018 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships. Wingate University and the Greensboro Sports Commission are serving as co-hosts inside the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Through 16 events on the women's side, UC San Diego is seventh with 146 points. The Tritons were 17th after Wednesday's action. The UCSD men are 21st with 45 points after 15 events. Queens of North Carolina, the three-time defending champion in both team competitions, is again comfortably atop both standings.
Junior Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS) advanced to the final of the one-meter springboard diving event in sixth with an 11-dive score of 417.45 in the afternoon. She thus became the first UC San Diego women's diving representative in an NCAA final, in 12 years, since Jennie Margrave's eighth-place finish in the three-meter event as a senior in 2006. Abrantes later was the Tritons' first women's diver to be honored as an All-American, since Margrave, placing fifth after six final dives (434.70) in the evening session.
The women's 800-yard freestyle relay of senior captain Haley Murphy, freshman Ciara Franke (San Diego/La Jolla HS), Grace Murphy and junior anchor Amanda Sumrow (San Diego/Patrick Henry HS) swam in the fastest heat during the finals session, timing 7:24.04 for fifth after entering as the No. 6 seed (7:23.28).
Four individuals made consolation finals from morning preliminaries, with three subsequent wins in those races in the later session. Two of them just missed top-eight spots in the championship final to begin with, with senior Alex Rodman and sophomore Edgar Chin ninth-fastest in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke, respectively. They held onto their positions the second time around.
Rodman timed 55.54 to win her consolation for ninth overall. She had earlier in prelims improved on her personal record, speeding 55.23 to lower her previous best of 55.39 from just a day ago in her leadoff leg in prelims of what proved to be the school-record 400 medley relay. She remains No. 2 in the program record book, behind the great Alex Henley (44.94). Rodman won the second of five heats.
Chin turned in back-to-back personal records, of 54.24 for his ninth-place prelim effort, and then 53.72 to win the B final for ninth in the event. He, too, is second all-time in that event, behind another Triton legend and former national champion in Nick Korth (52.92). Nobody else in UCSD history has gone faster than 55 seconds.
The third consolation winner was fourth-year senior Angie Phetbenjakul in the 100 breaststroke. The fourth-year senior timed 1:02.36 to hit the wall first, with freshman teammate Rachel Taylor in the lane next to her in fourth (1:02.68) as the Triton duo went 9-12 in the event. Their respective prelim times of 1:02.18 and 1:02.62 were 11th and 13th coming out of the morning heats. Taylor's initial time improved on her collegiate best, No. 5 at UCSD. Phetbenjakul is third (1:01.95).
The men's 800 free relay of freshman Zack Reuter, senior co-captain Austin Takeda, junior Garrett Tse and sophomore Jack Spitser (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS), timed 6:40.69 during morning racing. The mark was eighth-best going into the evening's final, fastest heat, and wound up dipping back to 16th for All-America honorable mentions for all four Tritons. Reuter and Spitser made their NCAA Championships debuts. Reuter's leadoff leg of 1:40.27 was his collegiate best.
A trio of Triton women participated in prelims of the 500 free, in senior Haley Hamza (5:00.78, 29th), junior Reagan Eickert (5:07.27, 44th) and sophomore Kaitlyn Ritchey (5:10.28, 46th). On the men's side, senior co-captain Kevin Fink timed 4:33.63 (30th).
Junior co-captain Lily Maxfield made her debut at these NCAA Championships in the 100 breast, timing 1:04.66 (33rd).
In the 200 butterfly, freshman Lindsay Clark was 19th in a season-best 2:04.42, falling one spot shy of an alternate position for finals. She led for much of the first of four preliminary heats, before settling for second, ahead of junior teammate Amanda Sumrow (San Diego/Patrick Henry HS) in fourth (2:05.50, 24th). Clark moved up from ninth to eighth in the program record book. Sumrow remains third (2:01.23).
Delainey Carlin (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) completed her junior season with a 21st-place showing (353.40) in prelims of the one-meter springboard competition.
The NCAA Championships conclude on Saturday, March 16, with morning prelims beginning at 7 a.m. PT, and evening finals at 3 p.m. PT. The lineup consists of the 1650 free, 100 free, 200 back, 200 breast and 400 free relay. All sessions can be watched for free online at NCAA.com.
Triton Notes: Through three days in North Carolina, the Tritons have compiled 18 All-America distinctions and 18 All-America honorable mentions ... First through eighth placements at the NCAA meet constitute All-America, with ninth through 16th good for All-America honorable mention ... Thursday's women's 400 medley relay was UC San Diego's first school record of the meet, and second of the year after senior Haley Hamza in the 1650 free on the final night of the conference meet on Feb. 17.