LA MIRADA, Calif. - The UC San Diego men’s and women’s teams each moved to the brink of a sixth consecutive league title Friday on day three of the 2014 Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships. The four-day meet wraps up on Saturday at the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatic Center.
Out of 14 combined events on Friday, UCSD won eight.
Through 15 of 21 events, the ninth-ranked Triton men have accumulated 1192 points, continuing to lead Concordia Irvine (882) by a wide margin. The No. 5 UCSD women are also comfortably atop their respective standings with six finals to go. The Tritons have 1101 points, with Cal State East Bay closest at 777.5.
Paul Li added to his credentials in a breakout meet for the sophomore, touching the wall first in both the 400 individual medley and 200 freestyle after winning the 500 free on Thursday night in school-record time. He went 3:54.82 in the 400 IM before swimming 1:39.44 to barely edge out senior co-captain Alex Merrill (1:39.95).
Freshman teammate Zach Yong had already broken the school standard in the 400 IM by turning in a mark of 3:53.65 in morning preliminaries that just got under former Triton Adam Rice’s 3:53.72 from 2012. It was also a new meet standard, previously at 3:57.12. He wound up second in the final behind Li in 3:58.84.
Two more senior co-captains in Anji Shakya and Nicholas Korth won specialty events for the fourth year running as Shakya completed a perfect PCSC run in the 200 free (1:49.79) and Korth later did the same in the 100 breaststroke (54.64).
A final individual winner Friday night for the Tritons was sophomore Alex Moshensky, a first-time PCSC champion in the 100 backstroke (51.33).
Junior Sean Malley, Korth, freshman Julian Jacobs and junior Jack Galvan went 3:16.67 to take the 400 medley relay for a fourth straight conference meet, this time by seven and a half seconds. In fact, it was a second successive meet record for the Tritons, lowering the 3:17.20 from 2013. Korth swam the breast leg all four years.
“We had another great day and it’s really been enjoyable watching the team not only perform well but really have a blast doing it,” remarked UCSD co-head coach Matt Macedo. “We have an amazing ‘team’ presence. Paul Li turned in a very difficult double in the 200 freestyle and 400 individual medley and his three titles put him in contention to be the male swimmer of the meet. Zach Yong was a strong second after having the swim of the morning with his school record in the 400 IM.
Senior Luke Calkins and sophomore Allyson Cohen also were winners Friday, taking the final two diving events of the competition. Calkins (329.90) kept the men’s three-meter crown in-house, placing first on the board for the first time while taking over for former teammate Tyler Runsten, who won it the last four years. Calkins thus swept the men’s diving events this week. He had placed second behind Runsten from three meters in both 2012 and 2013.
Cohen is a first-time PCSC champion, scoring 246.40 in the one-meter. Senior teammates Natalie Mouzooni (238.00) and Megan Zeeb (217.15) joined her in finals and closed out their collegiate careers in third and fourth, respectively.
“Our diving team has stepped up here and getting four personal bests and two new national qualifiers (Allyson Cohen and Adam Springer) is a credit to the job Michelle Casillas has done with that group,” added Macedo. “We’re excited to see if the team can finish off this meet in the same fashion it’s competed over the first three days.”
The 2014 PCSC Championships conclude with two sessions on Saturday, Feb. 15. Morning preliminaries get underway at 9 a.m., with evening finals following at 4 p.m. with the program featuring the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay.