SAN DIEGO - The University of California San Diego women's swimming and diving team rounded out the 2017 calendar year with a double-dual meet at crosstown rival San Diego State University's Aztec Aquaplex on Friday afternoon.
The UC San Diego women, ranked No. 20 in the most recent NCAA Division II poll, were up against two Division I opponents in host San Diego State and Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC) foe Pepperdine. The Tritons moved their dual record to a still-even 2-2, easily dispatching the Waves (0-4), 242-48, while falling to the unbeaten Aztecs (4-0), 148-141. With a 189-90 decision over Pepperdine as well, SDSU is now a winner of 19 consecutive dual meets.
The Tritons were back at the venue of their previous competition, the UC San Diego-hosted A3 Performance Invitational, which took place at the Aztec Aquaplex for the first time, Nov. 16-18. The Tritons (1335 points) placed second to the Aztecs (1671) that week, with the Waves (459.5) in seventh among eight women's participants.
Junior diver Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS) became the first Triton to punch her ticket to Greensboro, N.C., for the 2017 NCAA Division II Championships in March, as she totaled a personal-record 286.35 points to finish second on the three-meter springboard. She was fourth on the one-meter board (250.28). Abrantes thus earns her third NCAA trip in as many college years, and will take part in prequalification on Tuesday, March 13, targeting a return to the main draw.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Ritchey swept the distance freestyle events, timing 10:28.06 over 1000 yards and later 5:07.93 in the 500. Pepperdine did not enter a swimmer in either race.
Fourth-year All-American Julia Toronczak (San Diego/West Hills HS) recovered from injury to make her season debut, placing second (58.27) in the 100 backstroke behind SDSU sophomore Courtney Vincent (58.10). She then led a 1-2 Triton effort with fellow senior Alex Rodman (Coronado/Coronado HS) in the 200 back. The initially-distributed results did not reflect this, with their times 2:03.00 and 2:05.00, respectively and approximately, ahead of Aztec senior Frida Berggren (2:07.31).
Freshman Ciara Franke (San Diego/La Jolla HS) touched the wall second in both the 200 free (1:53.56) and 100 free (52.05), narrowly behind Aztec sophomore Peyton Wilson (51.99) in the latter. Both of Franke's marks were NCAA B cuts, but neither lowered her existing qualifiers.
Senior captain Haley Murphy was third-fastest in both the 50 (24.35) and 100 (53.31), as the top Triton in the shorter event.
Bennett Bugelli (La Jolla/La Jolla HS), Franke's high-school teammate and also a dual-sport athlete at UC San Diego as incoming members of the water polo program, made her college debut. After anchoring a meet-opening 200 medley relay foursome, she sprinted 25.07 for sixth in the 50 and 56.52 for eighth in the 100.
Franke also led off the second-fastest 400 free relay at the end of the meet, in 3:33.66 ahead of sophomore Amanda Rios, Murphy and Toronczak.
Other notables on the day included third-place individual performances by Grace Murphy (100 breast, 1:06.06) and Lindsay Clark (200 fly, 2:09.17), and a runner-up effort from a third true freshman, Rachel Taylor, in the 200 breast (2:22.10). Junior Lindsey Miller was second (2:09.99) in the 200 individual medley behind Vincent (2:09.45), and sophomore Casey Brotherton was third in the 500 (5:13.78).
The UC San Diego men and women will return to action right after the new year, on Tuesday, Jan. 2. It will be Senior Day at Canyonview Aquatic Center in La Jolla, with senior recognitions slated to start around 1:40 p.m., and the meet itself at 2 p.m. or shortly thereafter. The Tritons' Division I opponents will be the men and women of Incarnate Word, and the San José State women. Parking and admission on the UC San Diego campus are both free that day.