BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The University of California San Diego swimming and diving teams cruised to three victories in dual meets against NCAA Division I opposition Saturday at Hillman Aquatic Center.
The UC San Diego women, ranked No. 6 nationally in Division II, improved to 5-2 in downing CSU Bakersfield (3-4), 165-134, and Loyola Marymount (0-8), 234-57. The fifth-ranked Triton men stayed undefeated at 3-0 in duals after routing the host Roadrunners (1-3), 198-93. LMU does not sponsor a men's program.
Triton men won all 14 swim races over CSUB, dropping just the two springboard diving events. On the women's side, UCSD had the top finisher in nine of 16 events contested on the afternoon.
Juniors Angie Phetbenjakul and Julia Toronczak (Santee/West Hills HS) were each fastest in a pair of races, and also teamed up on the first-place 400 freestyle relay at the end of the festivities. Phetbenjakul hit the wall first in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.32, B) and 50 free (24.19), while Toronczak swept the backstroke distances (58.51 and 2:05.02).
Another junior, Kevin Wylder, bested the 'Runners in the 50 freestyle (20.95) and 100 butterfly (49.75), while also taking part in both winning relays to bookend his day. Senior Michael Cohn (Solana Beach/Grossmont College) was the only other man with a pair of individual victories, in the 100 (50.95) and 200 (1:49.28, B) back.
Remaining first-place performers for the Triton women were freshman Casey Brotherton (1000, 10:26.01, B), sophomore Amanda Sumrow (200 fly, 2:07.08), senior tri-captain Jaimie Bryan (200 breast, 2:19.27, B) and freshman Alayna Gocke (500 free, 5:04.13, B).
For the men, Jack Spitser (1000, 9:48.33), CJ Pais (200 free, 1:42.84), Edgar Chin (100 breast, 57.74), Gabriel Hernandez (200 fly, 1:51.50), Samuel Lee (100 free, 47.62), Zach Yong (200 breast, 2:05.07), Kevin Fink (500, 4:39.75) and Garrett Tse (200 individual medley, 1:54.31) all swam to individual wins.
"Both teams really swam well today and it was nice to see that kind of progression from our meets earlier in the week," said UCSD head coach Daniel Perdew. "There were several factors in that improvement, the main one being that our approach was sharpened up quite a bit, which is probably natural since we are still getting back into form from the holiday break. Also, after swimming long course for most of our holiday training period, it takes some time to readjust to short course, and our men have not competed since the A3 Invitational in November.
"On the women's side, Angie Phetbenjakul had a great meet, winning the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke and she had great splits on both relays. Jaimie Bryan turned in an excellent race in the 200 breaststroke and won by more than two seconds. For the men, Michael Cohn and Gabriel Hernandez continue to swim at a consistently high level, and I thought this was one of the best meets Kevin Wylder has ever had."
UCSD turned in nine NCAA consideration qualifiers, but only Gocke's effort in the 500 (5:04.13) was a season best and first-time standard, with her personal-record mark more than five seconds faster than her previous best (5:09.53). Sophomore Brooke Abrantes (266.40 points) and freshman Tiffany Wong (258.07) placed second and fourth on the three-meter and one-meter boards, respectively, with NCAA marks, but both had already qualified. The others were Brotherton (1000, 500), Phetbenjakul (100 breast), Cohn (200 back), Bryan (200 breast), and the women's 400 free relay (3:29.86) of senior tri-captain Natalie Tang, Phetbenjakul, junior Sarah Yao and Toronczak at the anchor.
The men's 200 medley relay (1:33.19) was made up of senior co-captain Julian Jacobs, Chin, Wylder and freshman anchor Chris Hargrove (Santee/West Hills HS). The 400 free relay (3:06.38) consisted of Wylder, Lee, Hargrove and Jacobs.
The Tritons went 1-2-3 in four separate events, in the women's 50 free (Phetbenjakul, Yao, Tang), men's 100 free (Lee, Austin Takeda, Tin Huynh), men's 200 breast (Yong, Chin, Hernandez) and men's 100 fly (Wylder, Tse, Will Knox).
Paola Hernandez of CSU Bakersfield was the main standout of the women's competition, racing to three victories on her own, in the 200 free, 100 free and 200 IM, after leading off the fastest 200 medley relay to start the meet.
UC San Diego now has a weekend off from competition before returning home for its Senior Day meet against Division II rival California Baptist on Saturday, Jan. 21. The Lancer women are ranked 13th and the men 15th. The action at Canyonview Aquatic Center is slated to begin at 12 p.m. after seven Triton seniors are recognized. For the second year in a row, the meet will air live in high definition on UCSD's streaming platform, UCSDtritons.tv.