BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of California San Diego had four entries into consolation finals and 11 All-America honorable mentions on day one of the 2017 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships at the CrossPlex. The city of Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Huntsville are co-hosts.
Through four events on the women's side, UCSD is tied for 19th with nine points. The Triton men are 22nd with 12 points after five events. Drury (104) of Missouri and Queens (142) of North Carolina top those respective standings.
Senior Gabriel Hernandez entered the 200-yard individual medley seeded second, but his morning preliminary time of 1:48.03 fell agonizingly short of the championship final by a mere .04 seconds. In the evening's consolation final, the first-year transfer out of Golden West College led from start to finish, cruising to a win that meant ninth place overall, while lowering his own school record from 1:46.89 down to 1:46.39. He hit the wall first by over a full second. The time would have been good for fourth in the championship final.
Junior Kevin Wylder was 14th-fastest in 20.23 in morning prelims of the 50 freestyle, and then eighth in the consolation final (20.57) for 16th overall and All-America honorable mention.
The women's 200 medley relay of senior tri-captain Natalie Tang and juniors Angie Phetbenjakul, Jayna Wittenbrink and tri-captain Haley Murphy, combined to go 1:43.77 for fifth in the consolation final and thus 13th overall. The foursome was also 13th-fastest in 1:44.06 in the morning.
The men's relay of senior Michael Cohn (Solana Beach/Grossmont College), freshman Edgar Chin, sophomore Garrett Tse and Wylder as the freestyle anchor, went 1:29.93 for eighth in the consolation final and 16th overall. The group had narrowly snuck into that B final in 16th in morning prelims (1:30.56).
In the 1000 free, sophomore Reagan Eickert went a season-best 10:10.31 to place third in her morning heat and ultimately hung on to 16th overall for All-America honorable mention. True freshman Kaitlyn Ritchey made her NCAA debut and timed a season-best 10:23.31 for 41st. Haley Hamza was 46th (10:33.39). It was also an NCAA Championships debut for the junior, who qualified a year ago but was unable to make the trip due to injury.
Tang and Phetbenjakul swam an identical 23.98 in prelims of the 50 free to share the 39th spot in the final standings. Another true freshman at her first NCAA Championships, Brooke Miles, was 39th in the 200 IM (2:09.57).
Tse was 26th after prelims of the 200 IM (1:50.28).
The NCAA Championships continue on Thursday, March 9, with the morning session beginning at 8:30 a.m. PT, and evening finals at 4 p.m. PT. The 200 free relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, women's one-meter diving and 400 medley relay will be contested. All sessions can be watched live online, free of charge, at NCAA.com/live, with live results here.