The University of California San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving teams arrived in La Mirada late Tuesday afternoon, for the 2018 Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships, back this year at the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center for the first time since 2015. The last two editions had been at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, after the previous four had all taken place in La Mirada. The meet runs Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 14-17. The Triton men and women are each nine-time defending PCSC champions. In addition to extending those respective streaks, they will look to qualify as many swimmers and divers as they can, to the NCAA Championships next month in Greensboro, N.C. The Triton women, ranked sixth nationally in the NCAA Division II, finished 8-3 in dual meets this season, with four straight wins. The 16th-ranked UC San Diego men completed the dual schedule at 3-2.
General admission is $15 per session for prelims (including diving sessions) and $15 per session for finals. Students with valid identification are $5, all sessions. Children five years of age and under are free. An all-sessions pass is available for $55. Payment is accepted in cash or check only (payable to PCSC). Free parking is available in the Splash! parking lot adjacent to the facility.
Live results for this year's meet are available on smartphones and tablets via the Meet Mobile application. Meet Mobile is available for download through iTunes (requires iOS 7.0 or later) and compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Meet results through the app come at an annual subscription cost of $5.99, or monthly fee of $1.99, both of which renew automatically unless cancelled at least 24 hours before the end of the selected subscription period. Click here to access it. Diving results will be here. Fans should also be sure to follow UC San Diego Swimming & Diving and Triton Athletics on social media for live and behind-the-scenes looks at the action from La Mirada. Links are at the bottom.
PCSC CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW
First-year UC San Diego head coach David Marsh will be able to call on five previous conference individual champions on the men's side in seniors Kevin Fink, Derek Tanizaki-Hudson and Kevin Wylder, junior Garrett Tse, and sophomore Jack Spitser (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS). Wylder, the reigning champion in the 50 free, will be after a fourth successive PCSC crown in the 100 fly. Fink won the 400 IM in 2016. Spitser swept the 1000 and 1650 as a rookie a year ago, with Tanizaki-Hudson fastest in the very first 100 IM. Tse has titles in the 200 breast (2017) and 200 IM (2016). On the women's side, Julia Toronczak (San Diego/West Hills HS), like Wylder, is in pursuit of a fourth straight championship, in the 200 back, with fellow senior Haley Hamza a three-time winner in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free in 2016. Sophomore Alayna Gocke is the defending champion in the 200 free. Fourth-year senior Stephanie Sin was the 2015 Female Co-Swimmer of the Meet as the champion in the 1000 and 1650.
The UC San Diego men won the 800 free relay in 2017, with senior captain Austin Takeda the lone returner from that foursome, and the women took all three free relays. The Triton men were only topped in one of the five relays in 2016, the 400 medley, while the women completed a clean sweep. In 2015, the Triton women won three of the five relays (800 free, 200 free, 400 medley), with the men first in the two longer free relays. The Triton men had swept the relays in 2014, with the women taking the three freestyle ones. UCSD previously swept all 10 relay races in 2012, and combined to take five of 10 in 2013. The men and women have each won the 800 free on the meet's first night, for seven consecutive years.
As a team, the UC San Diego women compiled 1601 points to outdistance Fresno Pacific (1242.5) and 10 other schools a year ago, while the men accumulated 1684 points to hold off FPU (1589) by 95 points among a six-team field.
The PCSC Championships consist of 44 events in all, 22 men's and 22 women's. The total includes the five relays for each division, as well as the one- and three-meter springboard diving competitions. The women's races take place before the men's.
The shorter day-one program on Wednesday, Feb. 14, features the 200 medley relay at 5:15 p.m. and 800 free relay at 5:50 p.m. Timed finals of the 1000 free start at approximately 2:30 p.m., with the fastest women's and men's heat kicking off the meet's first evening session at 4:35 p.m. The men's three-meter and women's one-meter diving prelims (six dives) are from 10:30-11:50 a.m., with women's one-meter finals from 1-1:45 p.m. (top eight with six more dives). The 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 200 free relay, men's three-meter diving finals (2:30 p.m.) and women's three-meter and men's one-meter diving prelims (12:45 p.m.) take place on Thursday.
Friday has the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 400 medley relay. Men's one-meter and women's three-meter diving finals are at 1:30 p.m. The championships end on Saturday, Feb. 17, with the 1650 free (slower heats at 11:55 a.m.), 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, the second-year 100 IM and always-exciting, meet-concluding 400 free relay. Preliminaries for the swimming events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday begin at 9:30 a.m., with evening finals at 4:30 or 4:35 p.m. Saturday's final session will start with a senior recognition ceremony at 3:30 p.m.
SCORING AND FORMAT
The standard NCAA 24-place scoring will be used. Individual: 32-28-27-26-25-24-23-22; 20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11; 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Relays: 64-56-54-52-50-48-46-44; 40-34-32-30-28-26-24, etc. Swimmers may officially score in seven events, of which no more than three can be individual events. They can compete in as many unofficial (prelims only) events as they desire.
The UC San Diego men and women are each nine-time defending PCSC champions. The Triton women have won 13 conference titles in all, with the lone exception the 2008 crown, which went to LMU. The men are 10-time champs, with 2007 marking their other success.
ROAD TO GREENSBORO
The 2018 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships will take place in Greensboro, N.C. Two divers and San Diego natives are the first two Tritons to have booked their spots on the plane, in junior Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS) and senior Trevor Jackson (Ramona/Ramona HS). It will be a third straight trip for Abrantes, and second in a row for Jackson. A total of 15 women's swimmers have combined for 30 NCAA consideration qualifiers, as well as the 400 and 800 free relays. On the men's side, eight Tritons together have 15 B cuts. The qualifying standards for the NCAA Division II for both the men and women are available.
The final College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA)/TYR Top 25 Poll for the NCAA Division II was released on Jan. 16. In it, the UC San Diego women are No. 6, with the men at No. 16. The Triton men and women were No. 7 and No. 10, respectively, in the preseason.
Team captains for the 2017-18 season are seniors Kevin Fink, Haley Murphy and Austin Takeda, and junior Lily Maxfield. Murphy is a two-time captain. Fink had ankle surgery in late December, but has rehabilitated himself enough to be able to swim at one final PCSC meet this week.
HEAD COACH DAVID MARSH
David Marsh, a top-level coach of elite swimmers for over 30 years who guided the 2016 U.S. Women's Olympic Team to 16 medals, was named the head coach of the UC San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving programs on June 27, 2017. He is back in college swimming for the first time in a decade, having directed his alma mater, Auburn, to 12 combined men's and women's NCAA Division I team national championships between 1990-2007. Marsh led the women of Team USA to unprecedented success at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a final medal haul of eight gold, four silver and four bronze. That contingent featured the likes of Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Maya DiRado and Lilly King. He headed cross country to La Jolla from Charlotte, N.C., where he spent the past 10 years as the CEO and Director of Coaching of SwimMAC Carolina. Within that structure, Marsh established and coached Team Elite, which includes SwimMAC's impressive list of professional swimmers.
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After the 2018 PCSC Championships wrap up on Saturday night, a few select Tritons will head to Las Vegas, Nev., for a Last Chance Meet the following Saturday, Feb. 24, in one final effort to boost their credentials for NCAA qualification. The final entrant list for the 2018 NCAA Championships will then be unveiled on Thursday, March 1, at NCAA.com.