LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego women’s swimming and diving squad split a pair of dual meets against NCAA Division I opponents, while the Triton men (1-3) were defeated by former Division II rival Grand Canyon, 158-104, Saturday at the Canyonview Aquatic Center.
The UCSD women (4-3) downed Grand Canyon (2-8), in its first year reclassifying up into Division I, 181-111, but fell to Mountain West Conference power Boise State (4-4), 238-61. The Broncos also cruised past GCU, 232.5-60.5.
With the Tritons already having faced San Diego State (7-0) on the road Monday, the Aztecs were only scored against Grand Canyon (235-58) and Boise State (155-144), getting past both. The latter match-up, between the last two Mountain West champions, was the tightest affair of the afternoon. Coming out of the second and final break of the day with two events to go, the reigning champion Aztecs trailed the 2012 MW winner Broncos, 137-126. SDSU went 1-2-3 in the 200 individual medley to go ahead, 142-140, and hung on with a 1-3 finish in the 400 free relay.
For UCSD, senior captain Anji Shakya (1:51.54) narrowly out-touched SDSU standout Mikaela Macklin (1:51.94) for second place behind Boise State freshman Felicity Cann (1:49.54) in the 200 free. She was also fourth in the 500 free (5:04.52) and fifth (2:07.66) in the 200 back. Macklin would later win the 200 breast (2:20.01) and 200 individual medley (2:03.56).
Senior captain Nicholas Korth was in front from the get-go to lead a 1-2-3 Triton finish in the 200 breaststroke, timing 2:03.60 ahead of sophomore AJ Zavala (2:08.54) and freshman Zach Yong (2:09.22). Korth had earlier sat out the 100 breast to focus his attention on the 50 free, sprinting 21.10 for third. He was third in the 200 IM as well (1:56.74).
Sophomores Zach Graves (1:56.52) and Paul Li (1:56.85) went 2-3 behind GCU senior Ivan Nechunaev (1:52.40) in the 200 fly. Li (4:46.94), Mitrushina (4:47.86) and Nadler (4:49.14) were 2-3-4 in the 500 free.
Other top-three individual finishers for UCSD were Li in the 200 free (third, 1:43.37), freshman Julian Jacobs in the 100 back (third, 52.02), and Zavala (second, 58.60) and Yong (third, 59.49) in the 100 breast.
Sophomore Naomi Thomas placed sixth (2:07.26) in a marquee 200 butterfly race that Grand Canyon freshman Hannah Kastigar won in 2:03.10 over a field that included 2013 Mountain West champion Rachel Heaney (2:04.24) of BSU in third. Thomas repeated the sixth-place finish in the 100 fly (58.02).
Alex Merrill, like Korth a senior captain of the men’s team, posted a pair of fourth-place efforts in the 200 free (1:43.52) and 100 free (47.34).
GCU sophomore Iegor Lytvenok was a triple winner in the 100 back (51.00), 200 back (1:52.93) and 200 IM (1:52.70). Nechunaev added a first-place showing in the 100 (48.17) to complete his butterfly sweep.
UCSD contests its final home meet of the 2013-14 season on Sunday, Jan. 5, with both squads hosting Incarnate Word and the women also taking on San Jose State. Thirteen Tritons will be recognized on Senior Day beginning at approximately 10:40 a.m. at the Canyonview Aquatic Center. Admission and parking are free.