LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego swimming and diving program swept Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in season-opening dual meets Saturday at Canyonview Pool.
The Triton men (1-0) defeated the Stags (0-1), 174-126, while the women (1-0) topped the Athenas (0-1), 191-107. UCSD turned in the best marks in 28 of 34 events on the day.
Senior captain and 13-time All-American Anji Shakya was the top finisher in three events, the 100 back (58.39), 100 free (53.05) and 500 free (5:05.55). She narrowly touched out sophomore teammate Colleen Daley in the 100 free by a mere .02 seconds. Daley had sprinted 24.30 to take the 50 free minutes earlier.
Sophomore Naomi Thomas was first in the 200 fly (2:05.57), 100 fly (57.12) and 200 IM (2:11.92). Senior Ahiram Rodriguez (San Diego/Herbert Hoover HS) was fastest in the 200 fly (1:55.89) and 100 fly (51.67).
The diving portion of the meet had several highlights for the Tritons, as they qualified two men already into the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships. Headed to Ohio for sure in mid-March are senior Luke Calkins and sophomore Garet Webster (Santee/Santana HS). Calkins punched his fourth straight ticket to nationals with his winning score of 311.92 from one meter. He achieved his qualifier in the season opener with CMS last year as well. Webster earned his NCAA debut with a first-place mark of 314.70 on the three-meter springboard. Both Tritons will need to get through the NCAA dive-in in order to join the flight proper.
Sophomore Allyson Cohen swept the women’s diving events with scores of 219.12 from one meter and 237.15 from three.
Four Triton freshmen accounted for five individual wins in their official collegiate debuts. That group was led by Jaimie Bryan, who swept the breaststroke distances (1:07.18, 2:23.39) on the women’s side. Sierra Gage timed 10:34.48 to complete the day’s longest event, the 1000 free, ahead of senior teammate Erika Rodman (10:40.10). Catherine Woo (1:53.72) and Zach Yong (58.97) touched first in the 200 free and 100 breast, respectively. Bryan also fell just .01 seconds shy of Thomas in the 200 IM, marking the day’s closest finish.
Paul Li (200 free, 1:43.18), Michael Leung (100 back, 52.52), Reid McCallum (50 free, 21.50), Sandy Hon (200 back, 2:11.04), Nicholas Korth (200 breast, 2:02.13), Howie Chang (500 free, 4:43.21) and AJ Zavala (200 IM, 1:56.34) rounded out UCSD’s list of individual top finishers on the afternoon.
Chang pulled away over the last 100 yards to take a competitive 500 over CMS’ Alex Mendoza (4:45.80) and fellow sophomore Li (4:45.85).
Other UCSD freshmen competing as collegians for the very first time Saturday were Jaida Aikens, Shep Bryan IV, Simone Gagnon, Julian Jacobs, Cypress Lampe, Austine Lee, Michael Nguyen, Chandler Pourvahidi, Christina Vu and Mason Wong.
Triton debuts also came from junior Max Halson, Lilly Parks and junior divers Liz Bird and Megan Zeeb. Parks, a sophomore transfer from Wyoming, combined with Lee, Thomas and anchor Sierra Robbins in winning the 200 medley relay in 1:47.56 as UCSD picked up the maximum 15 points to open the meet.
UCSD went 1-2-3 in individual races in the 200 free on the women’s side behind freshmen Woo, Vu and Lampe, as well as the 50 free, 100 free, 500 free and 100 fly. The Triton men went 1-2-3 in the 200 breast and 200 IM.
Korth led Li, Jack Galvan and fellow senior co-captain Alex Merrill to victory (3:09.82) in the 400 free relay to cap the meet. Lee, Daley, Robbins and Shakya produced the best time together in the women’s 400 free relay of 3:33.83.
The UCSD men and women are both in action again together at Division I rival UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Nov. 9, beginning at 11 a.m.