Thursday, October 18

UCLA hosts tri-meet, takes win over Pacific


Close shave pushes team to intensify practices before next meet

  CHRIS BACKLEY/Daily Bruin Senior swimmer Elvira
Fischer
rips through the water during the 100-meter
breaststroke.

By Regina Yeh

Daily Bruin Contributor


Compelled to almost desperate measures, the UCLA swimming team
suddenly found itself in a situation where the last event of the
tri-meet at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center could turn the win
for Pacific.

Though three teams ““ Pacific, Washington State and UCLA
““ began Saturday in contention for first, the competition
soon evinced between the UCLA and Pacific.

Immediately, the Tigers demonstrated remarkable speed and
ability in the water as they managed to take first place in many
races.

The Bruins followed the individual wins of the Tigers, sparingly
taking the lead in some events. Sophomore Sara Platzer took first
in the 50-yard and the 100-yard freestyle, giving UCLA an edge
towards the finish.

Sophomore Jackie Lobdell also contributed with a first in the
1,000 free, and senior Elvira Fischer won the 200 breaststroke.

Head coach Cyndi Gallagher, however, questioned whether their
combined efforts would be enough to surpass the intensity of the
Tigers.

“Today we haven’t been as quick as we wanted to
be,” Gallagher said. “We’ve had good swimming out
there, but we need to finish races better, and live up to the
pressure we’re feeling.”

Right before the conclusion of the meet all teams took a short
break to gather their wills in the final event of the day.

“We put our heads together,” freshman Lindsey Buck
said. “As I was part of one of the relay teams, Cyndi made it
clear that it all came down to working as a team and finishing
well.”

The time was up. With swimmers poised on their blocks over the
water, both Bruin and Tiger supporters waited for the race ahead.
The pool was momentarily emptied of all swimmers in
anticipation.

A simultaneous leap, and swimmers were again in the pool leaving
white water behind them. The six teams sprinted through the water,
soon distinguishing Pacific up ahead.

The final lap drew close; the Tigers still clung to their lead
despite a Bruin advance. Finally it was the race to the finish, and
the last seconds brought the Tigers first place, followed by both
UCLA relay teams. No one was sure who had won in the end.

And, when the teams climbed out of the water, the score finally
blared out: “University of Pacific, 130; UCLA,
132.”

The culmination of their efforts had paid off for the Bruins;
the team erupted in wild cheers. While in the final medley event
the Tigers had taken first, the second UCLA relay team had secured
third place to overtake Pacific’s top finish value.

With such a narrow margin, the UCLA squad now knows how much
work it needs in the next few weeks.

“The meet was exciting; we raced well, and we’re
still learning,” sophomore Leslie Hovsepian said. “We
have things to improve on for the next week, but we’re going
to be ready for our next competition.”

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