The day after a narrow loss to rival Loyola Marymount University, the UCSD women’s swim team pulled out an outstanding performance on Sunday to beat Grand Canyon University and Mesa State by scores of 175-87 and 220-40. The men’s swim team also beat both GCU and Mesa State by scores of 184-74 and 217-39, respectively.
It was the first time the men’s squad was competing in the pool since the Arena Invitational in Long Beach back on Nov. 20, but the Tritons showed no signs of rust as they picked up right where they left off. The women’s team had lost the day before to LMU by a 132-130 decision, but picked up the pace and blew its opponents out of the water.
“I thought our women had a great opportunity to bounce back from a disappointing day yesterday and they did just that,” head coach Scott McGihon said. “We didn’t perform up to our capabilities against LMU but I felt we did today. The team had very good focus across the board and it showed in the results.”
After claiming three victories against LMU, junior captain Alex Henley picked up another two victories, winning the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:55.55 and the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:06.64. She swam in different events in the two days and showed her versatility, delivering two second-place finishes and five first-place finishes in the two-day stretch, counting relays.
The women’s team got the meet off to a fast start, winning the 200-yard medley relay and setting a tone for the rest of the day. Freshman Anji Shakya, sophomore Michelle McCadden, senior Jessica Ferguson and senior captain Anju Shimura posted a time of 1:49.18. The men’s team jumped in next, with freshmen Martin Vanek and Nick Korth, sophomore Adam Yen, and junior Blake Langland posting 1:35.53, winning by less than a second over Grand Canyon.
Langland would prove to be an all-star performer the rest of the day. He won the 50 freestyle (21.40) and narrowly won the 100 freestyle (47.55), touching the wall .04 seconds sooner than his closest opponent. As the anchor leg in the 200-yard freestyle relay, Langland jumped in a full body behind the anchor for GCU, but finished half a body length ahead.
“Individually, I was very pleased with Blake [Langland] today,” McGihon said. “After winning the two freestyle events, his anchor leg of the 200-freestyle relay really capped off a great day for us. To come from behind like he did was really a good swim.”
Korth and junior Matt Herman also won two individual events for the Tritons. Herman recorded victories in the 500- and 1000-yard freestyle races, with times of 4:41.95 and 9:41.08, respectively. Korth recorded victories in the 100- and 200-yard breast stroke races, with times of 57.78 and 2:06.49.
The women also came up with some impressive performances along with Henley’s dominating day. Freshman Anji Shakya again proved herself to be a star in the making, as she won both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events with times of 58.88 and 2:08.03.
The women will travel to Bakersfield next weekend to take on Cal State Bakersfield and Fresno State, while the men and women next perform together Jan. 22 at home against Cal Baptist University.