The UCSD men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, fresh off each squad winning the PCSC Championship, are headed for the NCAA National Championships on March 14-17 in Buffalo, New York. The teams combined for 25 NCAA qualifiers, made up of 13 men and 12 women, an increase of four male and one female qualifier from last season.
Head coach Scott McGihon, named the PCSC Coach of the Year for the now four-time defending champion women’s team, was correct in his prediction heading into the PCSC’s that as many as six more men joined the seven who already qualified. The men heading to the NCAA Championships will now be seniors Tim Fuller, Jesse Marin, Jacob Dong, and Daniel Gordh, juniors Evan Hsiao, J.P. Oliver, and Andrew Skewes, sophomores Devin Ancona, Steven Hardy, and Arthur Kubalski, and freshman Greg Goodell, Todd Langland, and Daniel Perdew. For the women, seniors Susan Bell, Emily Harlan, Andrea Lippin, Lauren O’Neill, and Liz Whiteley, junior Heather Szmidt, sophomores Katie Baier, Kendall Bohn, Aubrey Panis, Shannon Simonds, and Jennifer Sims, and freshman Karla Holman all qualified for the NCAA Championships prior to the PCSC Championships during the Speedo Cup.
Tim Fuller and Susan Bell both earned National Collegiate Swimmer-of-the-Week awards for their stellar showings at the Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference Championships, helping the Tritons capture team first-place finishes on both the men’s and women’s squads. Bell, a La Jolla native, notched two NCAA ‘A’ cut times in the 200 and 400 medleys, along with strong times on the relay teams and backstroke events. Fuller, a Santee native, recorded NCAA qualifying times in every event. Fuller, who specializes in the sprint events and anchors the Triton relay teams, broke John Flowers’ 13-year-old school mark while winning the 100 freestyle in 44.79.
The Triton women’s fourth straight PCSC Championships came as they bested runner-up Loyola Marymount at the PCSC’s by 110 points as Kendall Bohn took gold in both the 100 (1:05.03) and 200 (2:18.70) breaststroke, registering a lifetime best in the latter. UCSD also won four of the five relay events, capturing gold in the 800 freestyle (7:32.36), 400 freestyle (3:27.86), 200 freestyle (1:35.89) and 400 medley (3:50.77). The 400 freestyle group set a meet record and the 400 medley unit is ranked No. 1 in the country. Emily Harlan, Aubrey Panis, and Bell were all members of three of the victorious quartets.
The men, who finished 2nd at the PCSC Championships last year, captured the championships with a huge point total (1,449 points to win by a margin of more than 200), due in large part to a dominant effort in diving as Andrew Skewes, Daniel Gordh and Kevin Sullivan were all finalists on both the one and three-meter boards with Skewes second on the one-meter and Gordh third on the three-meter. Freshman Daniel Perdew was a finalist in the 50 and 100, and his 20.64 prelim clocking in the former is No. 2 all-time at UCSD. Sophomore Steve Hardy also put on a show, grabbing bronze in the 200 backstroke (1:53.64) and 200 IM (1:56.53) and fourth in the 400 IM (4:11.50), while Evan Hsiao and Devin Ancona each finished second in their respective events.
Last year, the Tritons sent 11 women and nine men to the NCAA Championships, finishing 3rd and 5th, respectively. Andrea Lippin earned All-American status after finishing 4th in 1,650, 5th in the 1000, and 4th in the 500, breaking the five-minute barrier for the first time in the latter. Bell reached the finals in three events as well, notching a 3rd place finish in the 200 IM and 5th place in the 400 IM. On the men’s side, Fuller earned All-American status for the second time, Hsiao finished 4th in the 100 breaststroke, and Hardy, the only freshman on the squad last season, recorded a lifetime best swim with his lead-off time of 1:44.34 in the 800 free relay, helping the team to a 5th place finish, while also contributed to 4th and 5th place finishes for the 200 medley and 400 medley relay teams.
The NCAA Championships will take place from March 14-17 in Buffalo, NY.