Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Rosa Bebi has been a standout breaststroker for the Tritons as a true freshman this season.
Women's Swimming & Diving Hosts Crosstown Rival USD
Release: Friday 02/01/2013 
The UC San Diego women's swimming and diving team contests its final dual meet and caps the 2012-13 regular season at home this Saturday, Feb. 1, against crosstown rival University of San Diego. The competition at the Canyonview Aquatic Center gets under way at 12 p.m.

The UCSD women, ranked third nationally in the NCAA Division II, are 7-3 in dual meets on the season. The fourth-ranked Triton men completed their dual schedule at 8-2 with seven straight victories. They are idle this weekend, having wrapped up the regular season at Cal Poly last Saturday, Jan. 26.

"This is a great meet for us, and probably the most competitive (of the season) for our women's team," remarked Triton co-head coach Corrie Falcon. "USD is a crosstown rival, we tied last year, which is extremely rare for swim meets, and they beat us the year before. I would love to finish our dual meet season with a win."

The third of three national poll releases by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) for NCAA Division II for the 2012-13 season was unveiled on Jan. 31. In it, the UCSD women remained at No. 3, while the men moved up from No. 5 to No. 4. The respective squads were third and fifth in the Dec. 19 installment and first and third on Nov. 14.

The University of San Diego women's swimming and diving program is a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Toreros enter the weekend with an 0-5 dual-meet record, having most recently dropped a 176-116 decision to another local foe in San Diego State at home on Jan. 26. Mike Keeler is in his 15th season as the USD head coach.

These teams swam to a thrilling 149-149 deadlock in last season's dual meeting on Nov. 12, 2011, at USD's Sports Center Pool. Heading into the meet-ending 400 freestyle relay, the Tritons held a narrow 143-138 advantage. A UCSD win in the race would have meant a meet victory, but the Torero foursome touched out Sierra Robbins, Anji Shakya, Katherine Tse and former Triton national champion Alex Henley by the narrowest of margins, .01 seconds, and pulled even for the tie.

Individual wins by current Tritons came from Shakya (200 back, 200 breast), Sandy Hon (100 back) and Jaclyn Amog (100 fly). UCSD student-athletes won seven of the 16 events contested on the afternoon.

UCSD and USD have actually met in dual contests at least for each of the past 11 seasons. The Tritons had topped the Toreros nine consecutive times prior to a 172-122 defeat at USD's Sports Center Pool on Nov. 13, 2010. That loss was followed by last season's tie. The meetings have come down to the final relay on multiple occasions, including in 2009 at Canyonview, when UCSD overturned a seven-point deficit to earn a 152-146 triumph after a 1-2 finish in the 400 free relay.

Saturday's meet will feature a standard collegiate 16-event format. 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 400 free relay. Two short breaks will be taken after the 50 free and 100 fly. The one-meter and three-meter springboard diving events will take place concurrent to the swimming in the adjacent pool at the Canyonview Aquatic Center.

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.

UCSD sophomore Dane Stassi was named Wednesday by as the Counsilman Hunsaker Division II Men's Swimmer of the Week. Stassi swept his specialty butterfly events for the second straight Saturday at Cal Poly on Jan. 26, while also participating in two first-place relays. His split of 21.55 to lead off the winning 200 free relay at the end of the day would have been fast enough to take the 50 free earlier. Stassi became the second Triton swimmer to earn the national award this season. Senior co-captain Beth Dong was the women's winner on Jan. 8.

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.

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 27th 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), fifth in the 200 fly (2:03.06), and sixth in the 200 back (2:01.20). 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), sixth in the 100 free (50.82) and eighth in the 100 back (56.53).

Other Triton individuals in the top-eight nationally are Reid McCallum (50 free, 7th, 20.40), Paul Li (200 free, 7th, 1:38.47 and 500 free, 7th, 4:28.39), Jeremy Smith (1650 free, 5th 15:43.27), Korth (200 IM, 6th, 1:48.62), Erika Rodman (1650 free, 7th, 17:07.85) and Fountain (100 back, 7th, 56.31). The UCSD men's 800 free relay is fourth (6:38.84), with the 200 free relay seventh (1:22.09) and 400 medley relay eighth (3:19.00). The Triton women are second in the 400 free relay (3:24.52) and 800 free relay (7:28.23), third in the 200 free relay (1:33.76), and seventh in the 200 medley relay (1:44.41).

The UCSD men cruised past Division I Cal Poly, 179-115, while the women fell to a 185-115 loss against the Mustangs in San Luis Obispo last Saturday, Jan. 26. Winners of multiple individual events for the Tritons included Nicholas Korth, Tyler Runsten and Dane Stassi for the men and Anji Shakya for the women. Amber Tan won the 50 free for the second straight meet while Cole Heale (50 free) and Jack Galvan (100 free) swept the sprints for the first and second wins of their college careers, respectively.

As they have all season long, the Triton women continue to top the latest installment of the Endless Pools/ Division II Top 25. The UCSD men, who were No. 1 in this ranking earlier in the year, are now at No. 5. Points for the Endless Pools/ 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.

Following Saturday's dual finale with USD, the Triton women will join the men in preparing for the championship portion of the season. That segment begins with the 2013 Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships, Feb. 13-16. The venue for that meet was changed recently from Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach to the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatic Center, for the second year in a row.

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