MANSFIELD, Texas - UC San Diego has 17 men and 14 women set to compete at the 2012 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships, to be held Tuesday through Saturday at the Mansfield ISD Natatorium.
The UCSD women, ranked No. 1 in the country, are led by two-time defending 200 butterfly champion Alex Henley. The senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., also won a 400 IM title in 2010. The Tritons qualified 13 student-athletes last year and placed third for the ninth time in 11 appearances.
The Triton men, currently ranked third in the nation, placed second last year, their best finish in the program's Division II history. Two swimmers will be looking to retain three national titles, including senior Matt Herman in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle events and sophomore Nick Korth in the 200 breaststroke.
"We have had a great couple of days since our arrival on Sunday - the facility is great and the pool is fast," said UCSD first-year co-head coach Matt Macedo. "The athletes are looking and feeling better with each session and we are excited to get things started."
"We were able to start the meet strong last year, right from the first session, and we expect to do the same this year with our first event, the 1000 free," said Macedo. "I believe this will be the fastest nationals in history and we are ready to go."
Of the 14 women's swimmers in Texas, 10 have NCAA Championships experience. For the men, 14 of 17 competitors have swam at nationals before.
"I'm excited and anxious to watch us swim, but at the same time equally calm knowing we have prepared well and are ready to go," said Corrie Falcon, UCSD first-year co-head coach. "This is shaping up to be the most competitive Division II Championships in history and we are fired up for the challenge."
Drury totaled 483.5 points to win the women's team title in 2011. Wayne State followed with 388 points and UC San Diego was third with 338. Drury also won on the men's side, topping the field with 600.5 points. UCSD was second with 345 points and Wayne State placed third with 295.
Last year's performances marked the best combined team effort in UCSD's 11 years at the Division II level. Prior to 2011, the last time both teams reached the podium at the NCAAs was in 2005.
Most recently, UCSD won its fourth consecutive Pacific Coast Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC) titles. The women amassed 1663.5 points to top Cal Baptist (1268.5 points) and Fresno Pacific (733), while the men totaled 1649 points to finish ahead of Cal Baptist (1422) and Concordia (1133).
The 2012 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships kick off Tuesday with diving pre-qualifications. The first swimming events are Wednesday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. (PT) with trials for the 200 IM and 50 freestyle.
For complete meet information, including live results, photos, video and blog entries, go to UCSD's Championship Central page.
Qualified Men's Swimmers (14)
See Han Lee
Qualified Women's Swimmers (14)
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