Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Freshman Paul Li heads into his first meeting with the Gauchos after a solid collegiate debut.
Rival UCSB Up Next for Swimming & Diving
Release: Wednesday 10/31/2012 
The UC San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving teams will take on the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara at UCSB's Campus Pool this Friday, Nov. 2. The first of 14 swimming events is set to start at 12 p.m., with diving beginning at 11 a.m. The Tritons travel to Santa Barbara by bus on Thursday for the meet.

Both the UCSD men and women are 1-0 in dual meets in the early season.

UC Santa Barbara, an NCAA Division I program, is in its third year of being an affiliate member of the Pacific-12 Conference in men's swimming and diving and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in women's. The Gauchos were previously part of the Big West Conference before it stopped sponsoring swimming and diving due to members like UC Davis and UC Irvine cutting swim programs. UC Santa Barbara has back-to-back second-place women's finishes in the MPSF, while the men were sixth out of eight squads at the Pac-12 Championships a season ago. This year, the women are off to a 2-1 start in dual meets, with wins over Oregon State and Utah and a loss to UCLA. The men are 0-1, having gone down to Utah in Los Angeles. UCSB has not competed since Oct. 12. The longtime Gaucho head coach is Gregg Wilson.

"Santa Barbara is going to be a whole different meet (than last Saturday's season opener with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps)," said UCSD women's head coach Corrie Falcon. "We come into (the CMS) meet, and we don't have as much competition, and we get kind of comfortable. Then we go to Santa Barbara, and it can almost be a reverse. One thing that we have to be ready for, is for them to maybe be (ahead at the first break), and we have to be able to come back on them. Last year, we were within 50 points on the women's side and 20 on the men's, and I have to believe that we are better this year, so we can move up even more on them."

"Santa Barbara's a tough meet," added Triton men's head coach Matt Macedo. "It's a meet that means a lot to us. We want to do well. We recruit against them. In years past, it really hasn't been as close as it's been the last couple of years, so we really feel like we're starting to etch away at what they're doing, but they are going to recruit and reload as well, so we don't know what to expect. It really doesn't matter. We have to be great on that day, so I hope the team rises to the challenge."

These two programs have met in Santa Barbara for at least the past seven seasons in a row, with the host Gauchos winning both the men's and women's meets each time. The Tritons have shown flashes and in fact made marked improvements over the years, however. A measurable advancement can be seen in the men's scoring in particular. The men's margin was as high as 122 points (184-62) back in 2007, but has dropped in each of the last four years since, to 103 points, then 59, 24, and finally last Nov. 4, all the way down to just 14 points.

The final scores a year ago were 154-140 in the men's meet and 173-127 in the women's. Junior captain Nicholas Korth touched first in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke that afternoon. Sophomore Dane Stassi was first in the 200 fly, with both swimmers a part of the first-place 200 medley relay team. The Tritons were, in fact, leading at the second diving break, but the Gauchos went 1-2-3 in the 400 IM and won the 200 free relay to pull out the victory.

The lone Triton returner on the women's side who won an event at UCSB last season is Emily Adamczyk, in the 200 breaststroke. The senior All-American and 2012 national champion in the 200 breast spent her freshman year as a Gaucho.

Friday's dual meet at UC Santa Barbara will feature a standard collegiate 16-event format. The program is expected to be as follows: 200 medley relay, 1000 free, 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 200 fly, 50 free, one-meter diving, 100 free, 200 back, 200 breast, 500 free, 100 fly, three-meter diving, 400 IM and 200 free relay.

Individual events during Friday's dual meet will be scored to five places (1st-9; 2nd-4; 3rd-3; 4th-2; 5th-1). Relays will be scored to three places (1st-11; 2nd-4; 3rd-2). No more than three individuals or two relay foursomes per team can accumulate points in a given event. Swimmers can not take part in more than four races total (maximum of three individual races) on the day.

The Triton men and women swept Division III Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by comfortable margins, winning 30 of 32 events combined on the afternoon. The men produced one automatic qualifier and seven consideration times for the 2013 NCAA Championships, with nine B cuts for the women.

Highlights in the men's meet included junior Luke Calkins already earning his way to the national meet in winning the three-meter diving event with a mark of 312.16, and a pair of consideration qualifiers for sophomore Dane Stassi in the butterfly events. For the Triton women, true freshman Naomi Thomas blazed to two wins in the fly events as well in her first college meet, with both of her times under the B cut. Anji Shakya won a meet-best three individual events (100 back, 200 back, 500 free).

Team captains for the 2012-13 season were voted on at the conclusion of the prior year, with Korth, fellow junior Shakya, and seniors Bethany Dong and Julius Espiritu earning that distinction.

After Friday's activity, the UCSD men's and women's swimming and diving teams will await their target competition for the fall portion of the schedule each year, the Arena Invitational. The Tritons head to Long Beach for the meet, Nov. 15-17.

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