Photo by: Derrick Tuskan

Triton Swimmers Take Part in 2019 Speedo Grand Challenge

UC San Diego

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IRVINE, Calif. – Members of the University of California San Diego men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed at the Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine, hosted by Irvine Novaquatics, over the weekend.

“This is a meet that we’ve been competing at collectively as a program the past three years,” said Associate Head Coach Marko Djordjevic. “Out of those years, these are the best performances that UC San Diego swimmers had at this time of the year. We’re moving in a great direction as a program.”

"I'm excited to see the progress in the 50-meter pool," said Head Coach David Marsh. "Progress in our sport is built season upon season, so this shows continuing improvement! We now have several swimmers that are within striking range of meeting the time standards to compete in the USA Olympic Trials in June of 2020. I think this will help inspire the entire team throughout the summer and heading into next fall."

On Friday, Graham Hauss’ mark of 1:54.57 in the preliminaries of the 200 LCM freestyle was good for a spot in the evening’s bonus final. Hauss shaved just a little under a second off his time, touching the wall in 1:53.61 for 15th overall. 

Grace Murphy also earned herself a spot in the C final, competing in the 100 LCM breaststroke. Coming in at 1:15.05, Murphy placed 19th overall.

On the men’s side of the same event, two Triton swimmers qualified for the finals. Breaststroke specialist Edgar Chin qualified for the consolation final, while teammate Chon Pong Lao earned a slot in the bonus final. With Chin’s mark of 1:04.47, he tied for the top spot of the consolation final with Texas A&M’s Jonathan Tybur. In the bonus final, Lao finished 18th overall, clocking a time of 1:06.51. 

Jack Spitser rounded out Friday’s finals action for the Tritons, as he captured a spot in the C final of the 200 LCM IM with his mark of 2:11.84 in the preliminaries. Finishing with a time of 2:10.94 in the finals, Spitser placed 15th overall.

On Saturday, the action continued. In the first event of the evening portion, Spencer Daily came out on top of the 50 LCM free bonus final. Daily turned in a time of 23.22 to earn 13th overall. In the same event, acclaimed Team Elite swimmer and Triton Volunteer Assistant Coach Michael Chadwick claimed the crown in the championship final, with a mark of 22.48.

Zack Reuter was the next Triton to swim on Saturday, after earning a spot in the consolation final with his time of 4:37.52 in the preliminaries of the 400 LCM IM. Zack dropped over two seconds off his time in the finals, finishing ninth overall as he touched the wall at the 4:34.87 mark. 

It was a similar story for the other Reuter sibling, as Tina Reuter claimed a slot in the B final of the 400 LCM IM with her preliminary time of 5:03.45. Finishing the consolation final race in 5:01.86, Tina placed seventh overall.

In the 100 LCM butterfly B final, Daily was back in action. The freshman’s mark of 55.18 was good for ninth overall, as he finished behind only Cal swimmers in his final. 

Classmate Mason Thompson also competed in the 100 LCM fly finals, as he posted a runner-up finish in the C final. With his time of 56.69, Thompson placed 14th overall.

A pair of Tritons found success in the preliminaries of the 200 LCM backstroke, as Tyler James and Ivan Kurakin both qualified for the event’s consolation final. James had the top Triton finish, with a time of 2:05.80 to rank seventh overall, while Kurakin came in at 2:08.38 to earn 10th.

On the women’s side, Tina competed in her second event of the evening in the 200 LCM back C final. Clocking a time of 2:24.10, Tina earned 18th overall.

Saturday’s finals concluded with the men’s 400 LCM free. Tritons Hauss and Spitser earned the right to compete in the bonus final, and finished a little over a second apart. Hauss took 16th overall with his time of 4:06.50, while Spitser finished 18th with his mark of 4:07.93.

UC San Diego returned to the pool for the final day of competition on Sunday. Murphy started things off in the finals, as she qualified for the 200 LCM breast B final. Dropping over two seconds off her preliminary time of 2:43.53, Murphy placed seventh overall as she touched the wall at the 2:41.06 mark.

In the consolation final of the 100 LCM back, James and Kurakin found themselves again competing in the same event. That was not the only similarity, as James again placed seventh overall and Kurakin again earned 10th. Both Tritons shaved time off their preliminary marks, as James turned in a time of 57.95 in the final and Kurakin finished in 59.17.

For the Tritons’ final event of the weekend, Alexander Gilchrist captured the top slot in the 200 LCM fly bonus final.  With his time of 2:09.77, Gilchrist finished 13th overall.


About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country.  The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference.  UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent.  A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships.  In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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