INDIANAPOLIS - UC San Diego is sending 26 swimmers and divers to the 2014 NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, following the official announcement of the qualifiers' list by the NCAA Wednesday.
The four-day meet will be held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, March 12-15. The UCSD women, ranked No. 5, have placed third in five consecutive years and 11 of 13 since the program moved up from Division III to Division II for the 2000-01 season. The ninth-ranked Triton men were seventh in 2013 after back-to-back finishes as NCAA Division II runners-up in 2011 and 2012 behind perennial power Drury.
UCSD's contingent includes 12 swimmers on the women's side and 10 on the men's, alongside three divers for the men in senior Luke Calkins, junior Adam Springer and sophomore Garet Webster, and one, sophomore Allyson Cohen, for the women.
Top contenders for individual national titles for UCSD include Nicholas Korth, who won the 200 breaststroke as a freshman in 2011 and is one of only two Tritons returning to the NCAA meet as a past national champion. Korth is the favorite in the 200 breast (1:56.26) and third seed in the 100 (53.59). Fellow senior co-captain Anji Shakya, a first-time national champion in her specialty, the 200 freestyle, last year in Alabama, is seeded first in the 500 free (4:48.56) and sixth in the 200 (1:49.79) going into the NCAA Championships.
The full men's field is made up of Korth (fourth trip), senior Reid McCallum (fourth), juniors Jack Galvan and Sean Malley (first each), sophomores Cole Heale (first), Paul Li (second) and Kyle Nadler (first), and freshmen first-timers Sasha Mitrushina, Chandler Pourvahidi and Zach Yong. Calkins qualified for his fourth national meet, while Springer and Webster will be making their debuts.
For the women, Shakya (fourth), fellow seniors Sandy Hon (fourth) and Erika Rodman (second), juniors Jaclyn Amog and Sierra Robbins (third each), sophomores Colleen Daley and Naomi Thomas (second each), and true freshmen Jaimie Bryan, Sierra Gage, Austine Lee, Natalie Tang and Catherine Woo (first each) are off to Ohio. Cohen is a first-time NCAA qualifier.
The Tritons, along with Queens and Grand Valley State, will have the third-largest men's swimming presence in Geneva, behind nine-time defending national champion Drury (15) and Florida Southern (12). A total of 157 men's swimmers will represent 31 different programs.
UCSD women's swimming will have the second-largest contingent on hand, falling one short of the 13 sent by Drury, the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 national champion. Queens (11), West Chester (11) and Wingate (11) are providing double-digit entries as well. Thirty-nine teams will be sending 183 female swimmers to the meet in all.