Thursday, September 21

Swim and dive dominates in first meet at Spieker


Michael Chen

UCLA’s swimming and diving teams delivered two resounding wins in their first meet of 2010 and their last nonconference dual meet before Pac-10 competition resumes.

Led by the usual stars, the inaugural swim meet of the Spieker Aquatics Center was successful for the Bruins (5-1) as the team posted two wins, dominating Fresno State (1-9), 245-55, and Kansas (5-4), 168-132.

“They were good, most of them were better than they were in November,” swimming coach Cyndi Gallagher said in reference to the Toshiba Classic in November, the last time the entire squad was able to compete in a meet.

Sophomore Yasi Jahanshahi and junior Brittany Beauchan paced the swim team with two event wins on the day.

Jahanshahi won both the 100 butterfly (55.24) and 200 butterfly (2:00.81), while Beauchan won the 100 breaststroke (1:02.53) and 200 breaststroke (2:13.95). Beauchan, the school record holder in both breaststroke events since the U.S.A. Short Course Nationals in December, once again posted times well below NCAA B Standards.

Junior Lauren Hall won the 400 individual medley, the event she set the school record in, posting a sub-NCAA B Standard time of 4:16.97. Gallagher added that it was even more impressive because she was not supposed to compete in the 400 IM at the beginning of the meet.

“(Hall) was a last-minute add,” Gallagher said. “She can do so many things. We didn’t have the diving scores in yet so we just (put her in).”

The diving team also had a successful day on the springboards of Spieker.

Freshman Michelle Vale led the Bruin divers on the 1-meter springboard, placing second with 244.80, while UCLA also captured the third-, fourth- and fifth-place spots. On the 3-meter springboard, it was Karina Silva leading the way, with a meet-winning score of 275.75.

“There are clearly some things that we have to be a little bit better at,” diving coach Tom Stebbins said. “But, that being said, I’m real confident that this is a group that can get those things done and locked in before we actually need it when we get to the conference meet.”

The swimmers and divers weren’t the only thing on display Friday, as this was the first opportunity UCLA had to show off the brand-new, state-of-the-art Spieker Aquatics Center in an official meet. The UCLA Marching Band performed, and the small crowd was mixed with the faces of parents, students and alumni who were shuffling in and out and cheering on the Bruins.

“I had some nerves because it was really loud, and there was a lot of energy,” junior diver Laura Winn said. “It was a little overwhelming at first, but once we got into it, I could focus that energy toward diving a little bit more.”

“They were excited to be here, racing, in this pool,” Gallagher said.

Diving’s season continues next week with the Bruin Diving Invitational Jan. 16 and 17 at Spieker. Swimming has a three-week break before resuming Pac-10 action Jan. 29 versus Stanford and Jan. 30 versus Cal, with both meets being held at Spieker.

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