LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving teams opened the 2012-13 season with dual wins over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Canyonview Pool on Saturday.
Triton student-athletes turned in the top mark in 30 of the 32 combined events on the day, and swept the top three scoring places in 14 of the 28 individual events.
The final point tallies were 226-74 in the men's meet and 238-61 in the women's.
The biggest individual highlight on the afternoon was UCSD already qualifying its first competitor to the 2013 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships in the first official meet of the year. Junior diver Luke Calkins achieved a qualifying standard with his first-place score of 312.16 on the three-meter board, and thus became the first Triton to assure himself a trip to Birmingham, Ala., in March, earning a huge ovation from his teammates in the post-meet wrap-up. The Kansas City native, who made it to Texas for each of the past two national meets, is able to participate in opening rounds on both the one-meter and three-meter springboards.
"It's definitely good to get (the NCAA berth) out of the way this early in the season," said Calkins. "Now, I can focus on improving my dives during the rest of the meets, more so than focusing on just trying to get to the (national) meet. It's good to get that done and have a more relaxed kind of season.
"Today was the first time I competed this dive that I learned about a week ago. I was a little nervous going in, but I just had to relax, get it off, and it went well. It paid off."
"The divers did very well today," remarked fifth-year diving coach Michelle Casillas. "I was really impressed with how they came out for this first meet of the season. They continue to do what we've been working on, which is sometimes hard to translate into competition, so I was really proud of them. They were very consistent, and sometimes, consistency wins.
"Luke did extremely well on (three-meter) high board. He learned a new dive, and he did that very well today, so I was excited about that. It's great momentum going into the rest of the season."
Tritons who won multiple individual events were led by junior captain Anji Shakya with an impressive trifecta in the 100 back (58.38), 200 back (2:07.03) and 500 free (5:05.09). Senior Emily Adamczyk touched first in the 200 breast (2:20.47) and 200 IM (2:09.33), with fellow returner Dane Stassi sweeping the butterfly events in going 50.43 in the 100 and 1:51.93 in the 200.
Naomi Thomas, a true freshman out of Burlingame, splashed onto the collegiate scene by sweeping the butterfly events herself on the women's side, racing 56.89 and 2:04.49 in her Triton debut.
Other debut winners included Penn State transfer Erika Rodman (10:32.33) and freshman Howie Chang (9:42.75) in the 1000 free, redshirt freshman Dari Watkins in the 200 free (1:56.00), and freshmen Rosa Bebi in the 100 breast (1:08.12), Michael Leung in the 200 back (1:55.46) and Paul Li in the 500 free (4:39.96).
Chang came very close to pulling off a double of his own, getting out-touched by fellow rookie Li by just .12 seconds in the 500.
"I'm extremely pleased," remarked second-year Triton women's head coach Corrie Falcon. "As a whole team, we were very good. It wasn't just a few individuals that were great. It was a whole team effort. A lot of first-year swimmers, we were getting to watch for the first time. To have some of them come in and win events is always extremely exciting. We really wanted to set the presence of the team on the right foot for the season. From their first cheer, to the support that they gave throughout the meet, I felt like they absolutely did that. It's a beautiful, sunny day in San Diego, so you can't complain about too much."
Junior Alex Merrill (200 free, 1:42.15), senior captain Julius Espiritu (100 back, 52.19), junior captain Nicholas Korth (100 breast, 56.59), senior Amber Tan (50 free, 24.22), junior Reid McCallum (50 free, 21.39), junior diver Natalie Mouzooni (1 meter, 194.03), sophomore diver Adam Springer (1-meter, 262.20), senior Katherine Tse (100 free, 53.47), senior Jacob Lammott (200 breast, 2:09.98) and junior John Chang (200 IM, 1:56.28) rounded out the individual winners for UCSD.
The Tritons' A foursomes in the 200 medley relay of Sandy Hon, Adamczyk, Olivia Fountain and Tan on the women's side (1:46.13) and Espiritu, Korth, Stassi and McCallum on the men's (1:32.99) took first-place honors to begin the meet.
To conclude the action on a perfect late-October afternoon in San Diego, Shakya, Thomas, Tan and sophomore anchor Sierra Robbins combined to go 3:34.36 as the UCSD B entry to win the 400 free relay, followed by a first-place effort out of Li, Merrill, freshman Ethan Pham and Espiritu (3:08.34).
For Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, freshman Joseph Hinton was first in the 100 free (47.33) and senior Carmen Lundell out-pointed the field on the three-meter board (244.95).
"I was very happy," concluded second-year UCSD men's head coach Matt Macedo. "I thought we swam pretty tough. We did our warm-up a little bit differently. We came in and warmed up at 9 (a.m.), and then gave them a few hours off, and came back and did a different warm-up. We wanted to see how the team would respond to that. That gave (this meet) a bit of a unique twist. I thought a lot of the group stepped up. Dane Stassi had a really impressive day. His lead-off time in the (400 free) relay would have won the 100 free (46.90-47.33), and I was impressed with that.
"To have 18 rookies on this team, it really gives it a much different look than in years past. I'm just happy to see them embracing that role and racing tough."
UCSD has both the men and women back in action in the week ahead, in Santa Barbara against the UCSB Gauchos on Friday, Nov. 2, beginning at 12 p.m.
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