LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego swimming and diving team will kick-off the 2011-12 season Saturday at Canyonview Pool with its annual Blue vs. Gold exhibition.
The unique format of the meet splits the men's and women's teams into four squads that compete against each other in non-conventional events like the 150 backstroke and the 300 individual medley.
It will be the first chance to see some familiar faces in new roles as former assistant coaches Matt Macedo and Corrie Falcon embark on their inaugural campaigns as head coaches. Macedo is the men's head coach while Falcon will lead the women's contingent. The duo was elevated to their new positions in August of 2011 when Scott McGihon retired after serving as the Tritons' head coach for 13 seasons.
Winners of the past three Pacific Coast Swimming Conference (PCSC) Championships on both the men's and women's sides, UC San Diego is coming off one of its most impressive seasons to date. A total of 28 Tritons competed at the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championships and helped lead UCSD to a second-place finish for the men and a third-place showing for the women. Four national titles were won by Triton swimmers and 11 school records were broken en route to the best men's finish and best combined team performance in the institution's 11 years at the Division II level.
Matt Herman was a double-winner at the 2011 NCAA Championships as he posted victories in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle events, while freshman Nick Korth won the 200 breaststroke title. Alex Henley topped the field in the 200 butterfly to win her third career national crown. In 2010, Henley was the champion in both the 400 individual medley and the 200 fly.
Along with seven relay wins, UCSD's slew of victories at the 2011 PCSC Championships included: Emily Adamczyk (100 breast, 200 breast), Sam Duimovich (500 free, 400 IM), Henley (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 back), Herman (1650 free), Korth (200 IM, 100 breast, 200 breast), Blake Langland (50 free), Eric Owens (100 back), Adam Rice (100 fly), Gabby Rossbach (100 fly, 200 fly, 1650 free), Tyler Runsten (3-meter dive) and Anji Shakya (500 free, 200 free).
The 2010 Blue vs. Gold outing saw nine meet records broken. Seven of those came from the Blue squad, helping it to a 159-100 victory for the women and a 142-127 win on the men's side.
Julius Espiritu was a winner in both the 100 and 200 freestyles, while Adam Rice was numero uno in the 50 fly, 150 fly and 300 IM. Herman broke a record in the 800 free and also won the 400 free. Korth was a also a multiple winner, besting the field in the 50 breast and 150 breast. Owens won the 50 back and Martin Vanek took the 150 backstroke.
For the women, Henley recorded a trifecta of wins, taking the 300 IM, 400 free and 150 fly. Shakya, a freshman last season, set a new record time in the 50 back while also winning the 150 back and 200 medley relay.
"I'm fired up to see our team race for the first time," said Falcon. "We have a lot of strong freshmen on both the men's and women's sides and it will be great to see what they can do in a competition setting. Even though it's an intrasquad meet, it sets the tone for what we might see this season."
"We have never been in a better place at this point in the season since my arrival at UCSD," said Macedo, who's been with the Triton program since 2008. "I'm excited to see what this group is capable of following some great weeks of training. I expect our rookies to make a real impact Saturday and the returners take pride in being part of the winning squad, so we should see some great competition."
The Blue vs. Gold meet will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Canyonview Pool. Following an alumni meet on Saturday, Oct. 22 (9 a.m.), UCSD will open the regular season by hosting Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday, Oct. 29 at noon.
- UCSDtritons.com -