RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Eleven University of California San Diego swimmers were up early on their Saturday morning to participate in the Lancer Last Ditch Invite at Lancer Aquatics Center on the campus of California Baptist University.
The Tritons were trying to put their best foot, and times, forward ahead of this week's announcement of qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA Division II Championships.
Fourth-year senior and second-year captain Natalie Tang was the lone entrant who improved on an existing NCAA consideration mark, timing 23.55 in the 50-yard freestyle.
Sophomore Reagan Eickert (10:19.75) and freshman Kaitlyn Ritchey (10:24.68) swam the 1000 free, as did senior Gabriel Hernandez (9:37.66) and freshman Jack Spitser (9:38.96). It was a first 1000 as a Triton for Hernandez, pacing San Diego native (Rancho Bernardo HS) Spitser.
Sophomore Lily Maxfield swam both breaststroke distances, timing 1:06.89 over 100 yards and 2:19.17 for 200. Junior tri-captain Haley Murphy (1:53.54), Tang (1:53.91) and freshman Alayna Gocke (1:54.62) raced the 200 free, and junior Jayna Wittenbrink the 100 butterfly (56.41).
Junior Kevin Wylder competed in the 200 free (1:42.30), 100 fly (50.28) and 100 backstroke (51.62). Freshman Edgar Chin (56.50) and Hernandez (56.83) were in the 100 breast, with Hernandez also going 52.90 in the 100 back.
This Tuesday, Feb. 21, will mark the release of the unofficial entrant list to the NCAA Championships, to be held at the CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala., March 8-11. That announcement will then be made official the following afternoon at around 1 p.m. PT. Hernandez is the only Triton swimmer who has already booked his trip, with his meet- and school-record time of 3:49.95 in the 400 individual medley on Friday night, Feb. 10, at the Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships.
All five UC San Diego divers, sophomores Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS), Delainey Carlin (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) and Patty Sullivan and freshman Tiffany Wong on the women's side, alongside junior newcomer Trevor Jackson (Ramona/Ramona HS), have also assured themselves a spot on the plane to Alabama under first-year diving coach Jon Real. That contingent will compete in pre-qualification on Tuesday, March 7, hoping to make the championships proper.