The UC San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving teams round out the home portion of their 2013-14 schedules with a pair of competitions this weekend at the Canyonview Aquatic Center. On Saturday, Jan. 4, the sixth-ranked Triton women welcome Boise State, while the women and No. 8 men will both take on former Division II rival Grand Canyon. The first of 14 swimming events will go off at 12 p.m. Then it's Senior Day on Sunday, Jan. 5, as the women host San Jose State, the men host Missouri S&T, and both squads take on Incarnate Word. The swimming is slated for an 11 a.m. start following Senior Day festivities. The UCSD women are 3-2 in dual meets this season, with the men at 1-2. Admission to all home swim meets at Canyonview is free. Parking is also free on the UCSD campus on weekends.
SENIOR DAY SUNDAY
Thirteen Tritons will be recognized prior to this Sunday's final home meet on Senior Day. Those 13 are Luke Calkins, John Chang, Sandy Hon, Nicholas Korth, Katie McBride, Reid McCallum, Alex Merrill, Natalie Mouzooni, Lindsay Oosterhouse, Erika Rodman, Ahiram Rodriguez, Anji Shakya and Megan Zeeb. The Senior Day recognition ceremony is expected to begin at around 10:40 a.m.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS
Among UCSD's Saturday opponents, Grand Canyon was a top rival at the NCAA Division II Championships in recent years, but the Antelope programs have now reclassified up into Division I. Last March, the Triton women placed third ahead of the 11th-place 'Lopes, with the men seventh behind fourth-place GCU. Grand Canyon is now a member of the Western Athletic Conference, with the men 5-0 in dual meets and women 2-5. Boise State, which does not sponsor a men's program, is in the Mountain West Conference, and is currently 2-3 in dual meets. The women's program, in just its eighth season in existence, won back-to-back Western Athletic Conference titles in 2010 and 2011 before edging SDSU for the Mountain West crown in the Broncos' first season as a member in 2012.
On Sunday, the San Jose State women (2-2) have won back-to-back Western Athletic Conference crowns, with the Spartans now in their first season in the Mountain West Conference. SJSU topped UCSD in the first dual meeting between the programs, 183-109, on Jan. 11, 2013. Missouri S&T is ranked No. 13 in the latest Division II national poll. The Miners, from Rolla, Mo., are 1-2 in duals and dropped a pair of duals to UCSD on their visit to La Jolla last January. Incarnate Word, like Grand Canyon, was a former Division II rival of UCSD that is now in its first season at the Division I level. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the Cardinal men (0-2) were third at the 2013 NCAA Division II Championships, with the women (0-1) fourth, 61 points back of UCSD. The Triton squads both rolled over UIW at Canyonview on Jan. 11, 2013.
This weekend's meets will feature standard collegiate 16-event formats, with two breaks after the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Saturday's swimming program will be as follows, with women's races before men's: 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. The women's three-meter springboard diving and men's one-meter will begin concurrent to the swimming at 12 p.m. in the adjacent pool at the Canyonview Complex. The women's one-meter and men's three-meter will follow after a 20-minute break. With Grand Canyon not bringing its divers, the Triton men will just be diving exhibition.
Sunday's swimming program will be as follows, with women's races before men's: 400 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 200 free relay. The diving again is slated to begin alongside the swimming at around 11 a.m. The order of diving events should be the same, though it will be both the UCSD men and women diving exhibition, with Incarnate Word and San Jose State not bringing their divers, and Missouri S&T not fielding a diving contingent.
Individual events all this weekend 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 in each match-up. Swimmers can not take part in more than four races total (maximum of three individual races) on either day. On Saturday, all teams present will be scored separately against every other team, except for the UCSD women against San Diego State, since the two squads already squared off at SDSU on Monday. On Sunday, the Triton men will be up against Incarnate Word and Missouri S&T, with the women facing Incarnate Word and San Jose State.
STRONG DUAL SCHEDULE
The UCSD men and women both face challenging late-season dual-meet schedules. Nine of the final 11 opponents for the women are members of the NCAA Division I, with former Division II rivals Grand Canyon and Incarnate Word having now reclassified. For the men, four of their last six dual meets down this stretch run come against Division I programs.
The second of three College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) NCAA Division II team rankings, voted on by seven CSCAA member coaches and one member of the media, was released on Thursday, Dec. 19. The UCSD women appear in a tie with Simon Fraser University at No. 6, down from No. 2 on Nov. 15, while the men are No. 8, down from No. 6.
In the most recent Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Division II Top 25 from Dec. 10, accounting for teams' top performances from Nov. 11-Dec. 8, the UCSD men and women are both at No. 4, each down from No. 2. A third ranking system released on Dec. 23, the Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Season Power Rankings, has both the Triton men and women at No. 7 in Division II.
2014 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIERS
Calkins and Garet Webster became the first two Tritons to qualify for the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships in Geneva, Ohio, in March, winning the one-meter (311.92) and three-meter (314.70) springboard diving events, respectively, with qualifying scores in the season opener with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Oct. 26. Korth and Shakya joined the two divers with automatic qualifying marks during the Arena Invitational. Korth punched his ticket with a time of 1:56.26 in the 200 breaststroke on Nov. 23. Shakya went 4:50.30 in the 500 freestyle on Nov. 21 to send her on her way. It will be a fourth straight trip to nationals for seniors Calkins, Korth and Shakya, while Webster has earned his NCAA debut.
On the men's side, 11 Triton swimmers have at least one B cut, while that number is at nine for the UCSD women. All five relays for the men and women have achieved a consideration qualifier.
TRITONS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
According to rankings on CollegeSwimming.com, Shakya currently has the top time nationally in Division II in the 500 free (4:50.30), as well as the second-fastest in the 200 free (1:50.00) and 11th in the 200 back (2:02.83). Korth has the best times in the 100 breast (53.59) and 200 breast (1:56.26). He also ranks sixth (tied) in the 50 free (20.36) and seventh in the 200 IM (1:49.60).
The Triton women have Division II's top times in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Shakya anchored Austine Lee, Colleen Daley and Sierra Robbins to a mark of 1:33.72 in the shorter distance at the Arena Invitational on Nov. 21, and Daley, Robbins and Catherine Woo to 3:25.58 in the 400 two days later. UCSD is fifth in the 800 free relay (7:34.98), seventh in the 200 medley (1:44.88) and 13th in the 400 medley (3:51.38). The Triton men are seventh in the 800 free relay (6:42.42), 14th (tied) in the 400 free (3:02.72), eighth in the 200 medley (1:31.11), 13th in the 200 free (1:22.54) and 11th in the 400 medley (3:20.69).
Other top-10 marks for the UCSD women include Rodman (10th, 10:25.44) in the 1000 free, Sierra Gage (eighth, 4:42.82) and Rodman (10th, 4:45.38) in the 400 free, Gage (fourth, 9:35.03) and Rodman (10th, 9:44.36) in the 800 free, and Naomi Thomas in the 100 fly (fifth, 55.93) and 200 fly (sixth, 2:03.11). For the men, Paul Li in the 500 free (sixth, 4:27.62) and 400 IM (eighth, 3:57.10), Kyle Nadler (ninth, 9:25.24) in the 1000 and Sasha Mitrushina in the 1650 (eighth, 15:47.10).
PAIR OF SWIMMER OF THE WEEK HONORS
So far this season, Korth and Shakya have each earned CollegeSwimming.com Counsilman Hunsaker Division II Swimmer of the Week recognition. Korth won the award on Nov. 15 after the dual at UC Santa Barbara, while Shakya was named on Nov. 27 following the Arena Invitational. They marked second career selections for both Triton standouts.
TWO NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Korth and Shakya are the only two former national champions on the 2013-14 UCSD roster. Korth won the 200-yard breaststroke event as a freshman at the 2011 NCAA Division II Championships, while Shakya is the reigning champion in her specialty, the 200 freestyle. Both performances were in school-record times, with Korth having since lowered that standard in the 200 breast.
UCSD has 13 All-Americans on its 2013-14 roster. Topping the list are Korth and Shakya, each as 13-time All-Americans. Also back are Merrill (6), McCallum (5), Robbins (4), Jaclyn Amog (3), Daley (3), Thomas (2), Dari Watkins (2), Eva Chen (1), Hon (1), Li (1) and Jessica Norgaard (1). Calkins and Michael Leung earned All-America honorable mention a season ago.
Team captains for the 2013-14 season were voted on at the conclusion of the prior year, with the senior quartet of Korth, Merrill, Oosterhouse and Shakya earning that distinction. Korth and Shakya are now two-time Triton captains. Korth is also the vice president of the Triton Athletes' Council (TAC) for this academic year as a two-time member of the TAC Executive Board.
STRONG STAFF ON THE POOL DECK
The UCSD swimming and diving program has exceptional leadership with top competitive pedigree on the pool deck in 2013-14. Co-head coaches Corrie Falcon and Matt Macedo are in their third season in charge. Falcon was a two-year team captain and national runner-up at USC, while Macedo was a two-time national champion and 20-time All-American at California. Daniel Perdew, a five-time national champion as arguably the greatest sprinter in the history of the UCSD program, is in his third season on the staff at his alma mater and first as the top assistant. Diving coach Michelle Casillas was a multiple-time all-conference performer first at Nevada and then at Florida State. Finally, first-year assistants Emmett Walling and Jamie Saffer were standout swimmers at USC and Tennessee, respectively.
LAST TIME OUT
The UCSD women split a pair of dual meets across town at San Diego State, while the men dropped a 166-127 decision to Air Force this past Monday, Dec. 30. The Tritons defeated Air Force on the women's side, 177-117, while falling to reigning Mountain West champion SDSU. Thomas turned in the fastest time in the 200 fly (2:05.62), while Korth was a dual winner for the men in sweeping the breaststroke events (56.02, 2:03.39) over the Falcons.
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Following this weekend's final home meets, the Triton men and women will head north to Bakersfield for a competition at Cal State Bakersfield's Hillman Aquatics Complex on Saturday, Jan. 11. The UCSD men and women will both take on the host Roadrunners, with the women also up against No. 12 Alaska and LMU beginning at 12 p.m.