The UC San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving teams head north this weekend for dual meets at Cal Poly on Saturday, Jan. 26. The meet at the Anderson Aquatic Center in San Luis Obispo is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. The UCSD women, ranked third nationally in the NCAA Division II, as well as the fifth-ranked Triton men, each take a 7-2 record in dual meets into Saturday's competition.
"This is the first time we have traveled to (San Luis Obispo) to face the Mustangs," remarked Triton co-head coach Matt Macedo. "In our first dual meeting last December, our women raced well but were never really in the fight. We expect to give them a better meet this year, as the races will be in yards instead of meters. Our men, however, dominated Cal Poly that day, and we hope we can repeat that performance this Saturday."
TRITONS RANKED IN TOP FIVE
The second of three national poll releases by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) for NCAA Division II for the 2012-13 season was released on Dec. 19. In it, the UCSD women and men are rated third and fifth, respectively, down from first and third in the Nov. 14 installment.
SCOUTING CAL POLY
Cal Poly is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference in men's swimming and diving and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in women's swimming and diving. Both squads take 0-1 dual-meet records into Saturday's face-off with UCSD, each having been defeated at UC Santa Barbara back on November 3. The Mustangs and Tritons competed against one another a couple of weeks later at the annual Arena Invitational in Long Beach, where Cal Poly placed seventh and 10th in the men's and women's standings, respectively, behind the third-place Triton men and ninth-place women. A narrow margin of 38.5 points separated the schools on the women's side. The Cal Poly head coach is Tom Milich.
Most recently, UCSD and Cal Poly met in dual action in La Jolla a season ago on Dec. 18, 2011. The meet was staged in long-course meters like in international competition and the Olympic Games, as opposed to the short-course yards used in college swimming. The UCSD men posted a comfortable 214-80 victory over the Mustangs, while the women dropped to a 185-113 defeat. Former Triton national champions Alex Henley (100 back, 200 back, 400 IM) and Matt Herman (400 free, 1500 free) were multi-event winners.
Current Tritons who touched first in individual events included Jaclyn Amog (50 free), Tyler Henry (200 back), Nicholas Korth (200 breast), Reid McCallum (50 free), Alex Merrill (100 free, 200 free), Ahiram Rodriguez (200 fly), Tyler Runsten (one-meter diving, three-meter diving) and Adam Yen (100 fly). The UCSD men also swept the relays (400 medley, 400 free), while Amog, Henley, Eva Chen and Anji Shakya combined for the fastest time in the 400-meter medley relay.
Previously, the teams met in a double-dual meet on Nov. 10, 2007, in Santa Barbara. The Triton men (178-75) and women (167-82) both lost to Cal Poly that day.
Saturday's meet will feature a standard collegiate 16-event format, with women's races held before the men's. The 14-event swim program will be as follows: 200 medley relay, 1000 free, 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 200 fly, 50 free, 100 free, 200 back, 200 breast, 500 free, 100 fly, 200 IM and 200 free relay. Two short breaks will be taken after the 50 free and 100 fly. The one-meter and three-meter springboard diving events should also take place.
Individual events during Saturday's 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 may not take part in more than four races total (maximum of three individual races) on the day.
Twelve Tritons are currently qualified automatically for the 2013 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships in Birmingham, Ala., March 6-9. Those athletes are Beth Dong, Olivia Fountain, Nicholas Korth, Sierra Robbins, Anji Shakya, Dane Stassi, Amber Tan, Naomi Thomas, Katherine Tse, Dari Watkins and divers Luke Calkins and Tyler Runsten.
TRITONS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
Nicholas Korth's season-best mark in the 200 breaststroke of 1:58.18 was second-fastest among swimmers of all divisions at the time that he posted it on the final day of the Arena Invitational on Nov. 17. It now ranks 26th among all divisions and third in the NCAA Division II. Korth also ranks third in Division II in the 100 (54.21).
Dane Stassi tops the Division II leaderboard in the 200 butterfly (1:45.65), and is fourth in the 100 fly (48.13).
On the women's side, captain Beth Dong is fastest among Division II swimmers in the 400 IM (4:18.01), second in the 1000 (10:17.01), fourth in the 500 free (4:56.06) and 1650 (16:57.77), and fifth in the 200 back (2:01.20) and 200 fly (2:03.06). Fellow senior Olivia Fountain is third in the 100 fly (54.95), with freshman Naomi Thomas behind her in fifth (55.82). Fountain has the sixth-best 50 free mark at 23.32, and Thomas is second in the 200 fly (2:01.68).
Junior Anji Shakya is fastest in the 500 free (4:53.30), third in the 200 free (1:49.73) and sixth in the 100 free (50.82).
Other Triton individuals in the top-six nationally are Jeremy Smith (1650 free, 5th 15:43.27) and Korth (200 IM, 6th, 1:48.62). The UCSD men's 800 free relay is fourth (6:38.84). The Triton women are second in the 200 free relay (1:33.76), 400 free relay (3:24.52) and 800 free relay (7:28.23).
LAST TIME OUT
The UCSD men knocked off No. 23 Simon Fraser and Cal Baptist while the Triton women cruised past Cal Baptist in dual meets on Senior Day at the Canyonview Aquatic Center last Saturday, Jan. 19. A total of 16 Triton seniors, nine men and seven women, were recognized prior to the first race. Winners of multiple events for the Tritons included Rosa Bebi, Erika Rodman and Anji Shakya for the women and Kyle Nadler, Dane Stassi and senior diver Tyler Runsten for the men. Runsten added an NCAA qualifying score on the three-meter springboard to his existing standard from one meter. Shakya and Stassi each also aided in a top-finishing relay.
ENDLESS POOLS POLL
As they have all season long, the Triton women continue to top the latest installment of the Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Division II Top 25. The UCSD men, which were No. 1 in this ranking earlier in the year, are now at No. 5. Points for the Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Top 25 are calculated using the average percentile rank of each team's top 27 swimmers in each meet. The Top 25 is ranked on the basis of each squad's highest-scoring competition over the designated period.
Team captains for the 2012-13 season were voted on at the conclusion of the prior year, with Nicholas Korth, fellow junior Anji Shakya, and seniors Beth Dong and Julius Espiritu earning that distinction.
Saturday's road meet will signal the end of the dual-meet and regular-season schedule for the Triton men, as they will continue with their preparations toward the Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships, Feb. 13-16. The UCSD women, however, still face one last dual date, at home, against crosstown Division I rival University of San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 2. The action at Canyonview Pool will get under way at 12 p.m. The teams swam to a thrilling 149-149 deadlock at the Toreros' Sports Center Pool a year ago on Nov. 12, 2011.
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