LONG BEACH, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's and women's swim teams are second and ninth, respectively, following the first day of the 2012 Arena Invitational Thursday at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.
The Triton men accumulated 249 points to land right behind defending meet champion Stanford. The Cardinal own a commanding lead with 630.5 points. UCSD is ahead of the likes of, in order, BYU (229), Hawai'i (197) and Cal Poly (157) in the top five.
The UCSD women are ninth in a field of 13 with 120 points. Two-time defending national champion California leads with 339, with San Diego State second (309) and Arizona State third (243).
The highest individual finish by a Triton on the day was turned in by Reid McCallum with a third-place showing in the 50 free (20.42). He was joined in the championship final by sophomore Dane Stassi, who touched eighth in 20.84.
The UCSD ‘A' 400 medley relay of Michael Leung, Nicholas Korth, Stassi and Alex Merrill raced 3:19.00 to place third at the conclusion of the evening session.
Korth also turned in a sixth-place effort in the 200 individual medley (1:49.57), as did freshman Paul Li in the 500 free (4:28.97). Jeremy Smith made it into the 500 final with Li, timing 4:34.52 for eighth.
"On the men's side, I thought our rookies really stepped up and showed they were ready to compete at this level," remarked UCSD men's head coach Matt Macedo. "Overall, the morning session seemed like everything was going our way, but I didn't think we had the evening we could have, and that's not the way you want it to be.
"Individually, Dane Stassi had a great day, swimming his all-time best in the 50 freestyle by a lot and making it to the championship final with Reid McCallum, who finished third and came in well under what he swam here last fall."
For the women, junior captain Anji Shakya was 10th in the 500 free (4:53.30) and Olivia Fountain was 13th in the 50 free (23.47).
"It was a really good day for the women's team," summed up UCSD women's head coach Corrie Falcon. "The 500 freestyle group hit a lot of best times, and our 50 free swimmers were much, much faster compared to last year. Our individual medley squad is still a work in progress, but that's to be expected with the people we've lost. While it was a solid day, I think our expectations (as coaches), and those of our team, are higher now and we definitely need to do better during the final session. We have room to improve."
The Arena Invitational continues on Friday with seven events: 200 medley relay, 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 800 freestyle relay. Men's preliminaries at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool begin at 9 a.m., followed by women's prelims. Finals are at 6 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --