Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Senior captain Alex Merrill heads into his fourth and final Arena Invitational.
Time for Annual Arena Invitational
Release: Tuesday 11/19/2013 

at 2013 Arena Invitational
Thursday, Nov. 21 - Saturday, Nov. 23 • 9 a.m. (Prelims) • 5 p.m. (Finals)
ELAC Swim Stadium • Monterey Park (East Los Angeles College)

The UC San Diego men's and women's swim teams are in Los Angeles this week for their top competition annually on the fall schedule, the Arena Invitational. UCSD will serve as the host institution again, Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 21-23, for the first time this year at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park. ELAC Swim Stadium has served as the venue for top-level meets in the past, including the 2012 Pac-12 Men's Swimming Championships.

This year's Arena Invitational will again feature a formidable field, with five men's and 11 women's squads, all from the NCAA Division I aside from UCSD.

The men's programs present will be Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Hawai'i, UCSD and the University of the Pacific. The women's competition includes Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Fresno State, Hawai'i, LMU, Pacific, Pepperdine, San Diego State, San Jose State, UCSD and the University of San Diego.

A total of 18 swimming events, with 13 individual, five relay and no diving, will be contested. Each day of the meet will begin with preliminaries at 9 a.m. Finals start at 5 p.m. on all three evenings.

Thursday's program has the 200 freestyle relay, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and 400 medley relay. The 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 800 freestyle relay take place on Friday. The 2013 Arena Invitational concludes Saturday with the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay.

Single-day tickets for the 2013 Arena Invitational are $15 for general admission and $5 for students and children. A three-day session pass can be purchased on Thursday only, for $35, with a two-day pass available on Friday only, for $25.

Live results of the three-day Arena Invitational are available by clicking here. The meet homepage can be accessed by clicking here.

The Arena Invitational has been called the Nike Cup and Toshiba Classic, among other names, over the years. Stanford won comfortably on the men's side for the second year in a row last November with 2,112 points. California topped the women's field, also for a second successive year, with 1,168.5 points.

The UCSD men have posted five straight top-five finishes at the Arena Invitational. The Tritons have achieved back-to-back third-place finishes, with 814.5 points in 2011 and 768 in 2012. The Triton women wound up ninth with 348 points. Nicholas Korth swept the breaststroke events for the men, winning the 200 in 1:58.18 on the final day.

The first 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 Friday, Nov. 15. The UCSD women appear at No. 2, behind only Grand Valley State of Michigan, while the men are No. 6.

Seniors Nicholas Korth and Anji 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 12 All-Americans on its 2013-14 roster. Topping the list are Shakya and Korth as 13-time and 12-time All-Americans, respectively. Also back are Alex Merrill (6), Reid McCallum (5), Sierra Robbins (4), Jaclyn Amog (3), Colleen Daley (3), Naomi Thomas (2), Dari Watkins (2), Eva Chen (1), Sandy Hon (1) and Paul Li (1). Luke 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, Shakya and Lindsay Oosterhouse 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.

The UCSD swimming and diving program will have great leadership with top competitive pedigree on the pool deck in 2013-14. Co-head coaches Corrie Falcon and Matt Macedo begin 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 top student-athletes at USC and Tennessee, respectively.

Luke Calkins and Garet Webster became the first two Tritons to qualify for the 2014 NCAA Championships, winning the one-meter (311.92) and three-meter (314.70) events, respectively, on the men's side with qualifying scores.

The Triton men and women both lost to Division I rival UC Santa Barbara on the road on Saturday, Nov. 16. UCSD swimmers won nine individual events. Sandy Hon, Nicholas Korth, Anji Shakya and Naomi Thomas posted two wins apiece, while Paul Li touched the wall first in the 200 free. Austine Lee, Colleen Daley, Sierra Robbins and Shakya were fastest in the 200 free relay to conclude the afternoon. Both the UCSD men and women dropped to an even 1-1 in dual meets.

UCSD's seven divers competed at the Bulldog Invite in Redlands last Saturday, Nov. 16, with Luke Calkins the top performer as the senior came away with a pair of third-place efforts on the one- and three-meter springboards.

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Following Saturday night's conclusion of the 2013 Arena Invitational, the Triton women will return to competition for a dual meet at home against Cal State East Bay on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. Both the UCSD men and women are in action at San Diego State on Monday, Dec. 30, to round out the 2013 calendar year.


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