The UC San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving teams headed to La Mirada on Tuesday, Feb. 11, to compete in the 2014 Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships at the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatic Center over the next four days. The Tritons enter the meet as the five-time defending conference champions in both the men's and women's divisions. This marks the third straight season the PCSC meet has taken place in La Mirada. Psych sheets and live meet results are available courtesy of SwimPhone here.
The UCSD women, ranked fifth nationally in the NCAA Division II, finished 8-6 in dual meets this season. The ninth-ranked Triton men completed their dual schedule at 3-4. The teams are coming off of triumphs over Division I crosstown rival University of San Diego (Feb. 1) and nationally-ranked Division II foe California Baptist (Jan. 18), respectively.
General admission tickets are $10 for prelims and $15 for finals. Students with valid identification are $5, all sessions. Children five and under are free. An all-session pass is available for $50. Plenty of free parking is available to the south of the front entrance of the pool facility.
PCSC CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW
UCSD co-head coaches Matt Macedo and Corrie Falcon will be able to call this week on the services of four swimmers who have previously won individual conference titles. On the men's side, senior co-captain Nicholas Korth is a three-time defending league champion in the 200-yard breaststroke. He also won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 in both the 100 breast and 200 individual medley. For the women, senior co-captain Anji Shakya is the three-time defending champion in the 200 and 500 freestyles, and took the 200 backstroke a year ago as well. Senior Erika Rodman and sophomore Naomi Thomas were first in the 1650 free and 200 butterfly, respectively, in their PCSC debuts in 2013. The Triton men and women swept all 10 relay races in 2012 and combined to take five of 10 in 2013.
As a team, the UCSD women compiled 1364.5 points to safely outdistance Cal State East Bay (954) and then-conference newcomer Simon Fraser (886) a year ago, while the men accumulated 1543.5 points to get past California Baptist (1357.5) and Fresno Pacific (1108). Though CBU was the latest departure from the league, Simon Fraser is expected to test the Tritons on the women's side in particular in this edition. SFU is the NCAA's lone Canadian program as a Division II member out of Burnaby, British Columbia.
The PCSC Championships consist of 42 events in all, 21 men's and 21 women's. The total includes the five relays for each division, as well as the one- and three-meter springboard diving competitions. The women's races take place before the men's. New to this year's program, in line with the NCAA Championships, is the 1000 freestyle.
The shorter day-one swim program on Wednesday, Feb. 12, features the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay to cap the evening session beginning at 4 p.m. Timed finals of the conference's inaugural 1000 freestyle start at approximately 2:30 p.m. The men's one-meter and women's three-meter diving prelims are at 11 a.m., with finals at 3 p.m. The 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 200 free relay take place on Thursday.
Friday has the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 400 medley relay. Diving concludes with prelims of the women's one-meter and men's three-meter at 12:30 p.m., with finals at 3 p.m. The championships end on Saturday, Feb. 15, with the mile, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and always-exciting meet-concluding 400 free relay. Preliminaries for the swimming events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday begin at 9 a.m., with evening finals at 4 p.m. on all four days. Saturday's final session will start with a senior recognition ceremony at 3:30 p.m.
SCORING AND FORMAT
The standard NCAA 24-place scoring will be used this week. Swimmers may compete in three official (finals) individual events and four relays, plus as many unofficial (prelims) events as they desire.
SHAKYA A STAR OF THE YEAR
Anji Shakya was recently named by the San Diego Hall of Champions as one of seven amateur Stars of the Year for 2013. The senior captain won her first individual national title in the 200 freestyle at the 2013 NCAA Division II Championships in Alabama last March. She was a six-time All-American in all during the four-day meet after having won three individual conference titles. Shakya will be recognized at the 68th Annual Salute to the Champions at the Town and Country Convention Center this Thursday, Feb. 13, though she will not be able to attend as she is in La Mirada for the PCSC Championships.
KORTH COMPLETES UNDEFEATED DUAL SEASON
Nicholas Korth finished his senior campaign a perfect 12-0 in breaststroke races in dual meets. Korth was 7-0 in the 200 breast and 5-0 in the 100. Out of seven duals for the No. 9 UCSD men, he swept the two events five times. The only two occasions in which he didn't, was when he did not enter the 100, vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (10/26) in the season opener and vs. Grand Canyon (1/4).
Thirteen Tritons were recognized prior to the season's final home meet on Senior Day at Canyonview on Jan. 5. UCSD's 13 seniors 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.
STRONG DUAL SCHEDULE
The UCSD men and women both faced challenging dual-meet schedules in 2013-14. Ten of the 14 opponents for the women were members of the NCAA Division I, with former Division II rivals Grand Canyon and Incarnate Word in their first transition year. For the men, five of their seven dual meets were against Division I programs.
The third and final 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, were unveiled on Jan. 31. The UCSD women moved up to No. 5, while the men moved down a spot to No. 9. The second edition was released on Dec. 19, when the UCSD women appeared in a tie with Simon Fraser at No. 6, down from No. 2 on Nov. 15, while the men were No. 8, down from No. 6.
In the most recent Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Division II Top 25 from Feb. 5, accounting for teams' top performances for the period between Jan. 6-Feb. 2, the UCSD women dropped from No. 1 to No. 2, while the men are seventh. A third ranking system released on Dec. 23, the Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Season Power Rankings, had the Triton men and women each at No. 7 in Division II.
2014 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIERS
Luke Calkins and Garet Webster became the first two Tritons to qualify for the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships, to be held in Geneva, Ohio in March. They achieved qualifying scores in winning the one-meter (311.92) and three-meter (314.70) springboard diving events, respectively, in the season opener with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps back on Oct. 26. Nicholas Korth and Anji 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 Calkins, Korth and Shakya, while Webster has earned his NCAA debut.
Aside from Korth and Shakya, 10 Triton swimmers on the men's side 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 consideration qualifiers.
TRITONS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
According to rankings on CollegeSwimming.com, Nicholas Korth has the best times nationally in Division II in the 100 breast (53.59) and 200 breast (1:56.26). Those marks put him in a tie for No. 15 in the 100 among all NCAA divisions, and No. 23 in the 200. Korth also ranks sixth (tied) in the 50 free (20.36) and seventh in the 200 IM (1:49.60). Anji Shakya currently has the top time in Division II in the 500 free (4:50.30), as well as the second-fastest in the 200 free (1:50.00) and 13th in the 200 back (2:02.83).
The Triton women have Division II's top time in the 400 free relay and third-best in the 200 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), 12th in the 200 medley (1:31.11) and 400 medley (3:20.69), 14th in the 200 free (1:22.54) and 15th in the 400 free (3:02.72).
Other high-ranking marks for the UCSD women include Erika Rodman (17th, 10:25.44) in the 1000 free, Sierra Gage (ninth, 4:42.82) and Rodman (12th, 4:45.38) in the 400-meter free, Gage (fourth, 9:35.03) and Rodman (10th, 9:44.36) in the 800-meter free, and Naomi Thomas in the 100 fly (seventh, 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 (ninth, 3:57.10), Kyle Nadler (10th, 9:25.24) in the 1000 and Sasha Mitrushina in the 1650 (11th, 15:47.10) and 1000 (15th, 9:29.99). Sophomore Alex Moshensky is 12th in the 200 back (1:48.18).
PAIR OF SWIMMER OF THE WEEK HONORS FOR KORTH, SHAKYA
Nicholas Korth and Anji Shakya have earned CollegeSwimming.com Counsilman Hunsaker Division II Swimmer of the Week recognition two times each this season. Korth won his first award on Nov. 15 after the dual at UC Santa Barbara, while Shakya was initially named on Nov. 27 following the Arena Invitational. The Triton duo then swept the Jan. 8 honors after a pair of home competitions to begin the new year. Korth and Shakya both have three career selections.
TWO NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
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 13 All-Americans on its 2013-14 roster. Topping the list are Nicholas Korth and Anji Shakya, each as 13-time All-Americans. Also on the squad 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), Paul Li (1) and Jessica Norgaard (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 Nicholas Korth, Alex Merrill, Lindsay Oosterhouse and Anji 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.
POOL RECORD FOR JACOBS
On Jan. 4, a total of 18 Canyonview Aquatic Center records were broken with Grand Canyon and the women of Boise State and San Diego State, all Division I programs, on hand. One of those marks came courtesy of a Triton as freshman Julian Jacobs' 50-yard backstroke split to lead off the meet-opening 200 medley relay timed 23.86 and eclipsed the previous Canyonview record of 24.67 set by former UC Davis standout and 2012 U.S. Olympian Scott Weltz. Weltz achieved that time on Nov. 5, 2006, making it tied for the oldest remaining Canyonview standard.
LAST TIME IN THE WATER
The UCSD men handed then-17th-ranked California Baptist its first defeat of the year, 178-122, in Riverside on Jan. 18. The Triton women, who had fallen to the then-14th-ranked Lancers for the first time ever by the final score of 174-126 that same day, then rolled over crosstown rival University of San Diego on the road, 189.5-108.5, on Feb. 1.
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Following Saturday's final day of the PCSC Championships, the Triton men and women will have 24 days of preparation remaining before the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships in Geneva, Ohio, Wednesday through Saturday, March 12-15.