LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego swim team will welcome some of the toughest NCAA Division I competition on the West Coast to Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool Nov. 17-19 as the Tritons play host to the annual Arena Invitational in Long Beach.
The NCAA Championships format meet will get underway this Thursday and conclude Saturday in Los Angeles County. Preliminaries will start at 9 a.m. daily for the men, followed by the women at approximately 10:30 or 11 a.m. Finals will start at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
On the women's side, competing teams include Arizona State, BYU, Cal, CSU Bakersfield, Fresno State, Hawaii, LMU, Oregon State, Pacific, Pepperdine, San Diego State, San Jose State, Stanford, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and the University of San Diego.
The Cal women are the reigning NCAA Division I national champions, also winning a title in 2009. Currently, California is ranked second in the country, while Stanford is seventh, Arizona State is 23rd and UCLA is 25th.
"We're going to be swimming against some of the best Division I programs in the country, among the toughest competition we will see all year," said UCSD co-head coach Corrie Falcon. "We will be focusing on doing what is necessary to get second swims and qualify as many athletes as possible for NCAAs."
Joining UC San Diego in men's competition will be Air Force, Arizona State, BYU, CSU Bakersfield, Hawaii, Pacific, eight-time national champion Stanford and UC Santa Barbara.
On the national scene, the Stanford men are ranked fourth while the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara received votes in the latest poll.
"This meet is what we have been focusing on since our arrival to campus in September," said UCSD co-head coach Matt Macedo. "Our goal is to get as many athletes as possible qualified for the NCAA National Championships in March."
Last season, Triton Nick Korth posted UCSD's best individual finish at the Arena Invitational, placing third in the 200 breaststroke with a then school-record time of 1:59.32. Matt Herman broke the school's longest standing record by swimming a 15:29.04 in the 1650 freestyle.
Stanford, Air Force and UNLV finished 1-2-3 last year on the men's side. UC San Diego was fifth, besting squads from UC Santa Barbara, Arizona State, BYU and Utah.
Stanford was a double winner, topping the women's field as well. Cal was second, followed by Arizona State. The Tritons placed 11th of 19 squads, ahead of teams such as Utah, Hawaii, Colorado State, Fresno State and the University of San Diego.
Alex Henley came in 13th during the 200 back with a time of 2:00.32, a two second improvement on her preliminary swim and a NCAA qualifying mark
When all was said and done, UCSD swimmers had posted a total of 12 NCAA qualifying marks, nine by the women.
The Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool is located at 4000 East Olympic Plaza, Long Beach, CA 90803. The phone number is 562.570.1806 and you can find a Google map here.
Tickets for the Arena Invitational are $35 for a three-day pass, $25 for a two-day pass and $15 for a one-day entrance.
For complete information, including live results, please visit the 2011 Arena Invitational page.
Following the Arena Invitational, the Tritons will host a dual meet against Division I Cal Poly on Sunday, Dec. 18. Action gets underway at 2 p.m. from Canyonview Pool in La Jolla.
- UCSDtritons.com -