The UC San Diego swimming and diving teams continue their dual-meet seasons on the road in Bakersfield this Saturday, Jan. 11. The men and women will each face host CSU Bakersfield, with the Triton women also taking on a second NCAA Division I opponent in Loyola Marymount, as well as Alaska, ranked No. 12 in the latest Division II poll. The first event is slated for a 12 p.m. start at the Hillman Aquatics Complex. The sixth-ranked UCSD women are 5-4 in dual meets this season, with the eighth-ranked men at 1-4.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS
Among UCSD's Saturday opponents, CSU Bakersfield is 2-3 in duals on the men's side and 5-2 on the women's. The Roadrunners compete in the Western Athletic Conference. The 'Runners' women are coming off of a 169.5-130.5 victory at Fresno State last Saturday, while the men have been idle since mid-December. The LMU women, members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, have a 4-1 record, while Alaska is currently 5-4 heading into the third and final date of its California trip. The Nanooks, from Fairbanks, Alaska, are rivals of the Tritons in the Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference. UCSD swept the CSUB men (163-137) and women (210.5-81.5) in La Jolla last season, while the women topped LMU during the same competition, 181.5-105.5. Saturday will mark the first known dual meeting between the Tritons and Nanooks.
Saturday's meet is expected to feature a standard collegiate 16-event format, with two breaks after the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, but the full schedule was not yet known at press time. Women's races will precede the men's. With Alaska and LMU not fielding diving programs, only the UCSD and CSUB divers will be in action on the one-meter and three-meter springboards.
Individual events on Saturday will be scored to five places (1st-9; 2nd-4; 3rd-3; 4th-2; 5th-1). Relays will be scored to three places (1st-11; 2nd-4; 3rd-2). No more than three individuals or two relay foursomes per team can accumulate points in a given event in each match-up. Swimmers can not take part in more than four races total (maximum of three individual races). The UCSD women will be scored separately against CSU Bakersfield, Alaska and LMU, with the men only against CSUB.
Thirteen Tritons were recognized prior to last Sunday's final home meet on Senior Day at Canyonview. The 13 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 face challenging late-season dual-meet schedules. Nine of the final 11 opponents for the women are members of the NCAA Division I, with former Division II rivals Grand Canyon and Incarnate Word in their first transition year. For the men, four of their last five dual meets down this stretch run come against Division I programs.
The second 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 Dec. 19. The UCSD women appear in a tie with Simon Fraser University at No. 6, down from No. 2 on Nov. 15, while the men are No. 8, down from No. 6.
In the most recent Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Division II Top 25 from Dec. 10, accounting for teams' top performances from Nov. 11-Dec. 8, the UCSD men and women were both at No. 4, each down from No. 2. A third ranking system released on Dec. 23, the Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Season Power Rankings, had both the Triton men and women at No. 7 in Division II.
2014 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIERS
Calkins and Garet Webster became the first two Tritons to qualify for the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships in Geneva, Ohio, in March, winning the one-meter (311.92) and three-meter (314.70) springboard diving events, respectively, with qualifying scores in the season opener with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Oct. 26. Korth and 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 seniors Calkins, Korth and Shakya, while Webster has earned his NCAA debut.
On the men's side, 11 Triton swimmers 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 a consideration qualifier.
TRITONS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
According to rankings on CollegeSwimming.com, Shakya currently has the top time nationally in Division II in the 500 free (4:50.30), as well as the second-fastest in the 200 free (1:50.00) and 11th in the 200 back (2:02.83). Korth has the best times in the 100 breast (53.59) and 200 breast (1:56.26). He also ranks sixth (tied) in the 50 free (20.36) and seventh in the 200 IM (1:49.60).
The Triton women have Division II's top times in the 200 free relay and 400 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), eighth in the 200 medley (1:31.11), 11th in the 400 medley (3:20.69), 13th in the 200 free (1:22.54) and 14th (tied) in the 400 free (3:02.72).
Other top-10 marks for the UCSD women include Rodman (10th, 10:25.44) in the 1000 free, Sierra Gage (eighth, 4:42.82) and Rodman (10th, 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 (fifth, 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 (eighth, 3:57.10), Kyle Nadler (ninth, 9:25.24) in the 1000 and Sasha Mitrushina in the 1650 (eighth, 15:47.10). Sophomore Alex Moshensky has the 11th-fastest time in the 200 back (1:48.18).
PAIR OF SWIMMER OF THE WEEK HONORS EACH FOR KORTH, SHAKYA
Korth and Shakya have earned CollegeSwimming.com Counsilman Hunsaker Division II Swimmer of the Week recognition two times each this season. Korth won the award on Nov. 15 after the dual at UC Santa Barbara, while Shakya was named on Nov. 27 following the Arena Invitational. The Triton duo swept the Jan. 8 honors after a pair of home competitions to begin the new year. Korth and Shakya both now have three career selections.
TWO NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Korth and 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 Korth and Shakya, each as 13-time All-Americans. Also back are Merrill (6), McCallum (5), Robbins (4), Jaclyn Amog (3), Daley (3), Thomas (2), Dari Watkins (2), Eva Chen (1), Hon (1), Li (1) and Jessica Norgaard (1). 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, Oosterhouse and 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.
LAST TIME OUT
The UCSD women went an even 3-3 while the men were 0-3 against a host of Division I opponents in a pair of home meets this past weekend. A total of 18 Canyonview Aquatic Center records were broken on Saturday with Grand Canyon and the women of Boise State and San Diego State present. 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.
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Following Saturday's competition, the Triton men and women will travel to Riverside for dual meets on Saturday, Jan. 18, at nationally-ranked Division II foe California Baptist, beginning at 12 p.m.