The UCLA women’s swim and dive season started off with a bang.
UCLA took first place in the opening 200-yard medley relay and dominated the rest of the meet, finishing first and second in most of the events. They defeated Utah, Oregon State and UC Santa Barbara.
This year’s team features a balance between returners and freshmen, with seven newcomers to the swim team and two to the dive team.
“I think the first meet went really well and the energy levels were great,” said senior Rachel Godfred, one of this year’s team captains. “The freshmen have come in really well and added to the team dynamic.”
But it was the team’s veterans who made the biggest impact Friday.
Junior Ting Quah racked up a pair of wins in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events.
“It was a good start to the year and lots of fun,” said Quah, who was sidelined with an injury for the second half of last season.
Junior Kathryn Murphy finished second to Quah in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle and was part of the winning 200-yard medley relay team.
“The first meet went really well and I was really proud of how well everyone swam and cheered for each other,” Murphy said.
Coach Cyndi Gallagher has high expectations for the season with a talented group of returners and freshmen.
“We’re a talented team, and a tough team,” Gallagher said. “We’re going to have everybody be accountable and work towards the betterment of the team.”
The dive team also performed well in their first meet.
Junior Paulina Guzman won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events, while senior Maggy Boyd placed third in both events. Sophomore Emma Ivory-Ganja finished fourth and second in the 1-meter and 3-meter event, respectively.
“I thought we were good and responded well,” said coach Tom Stebbins.
“I think we’re going to have a great year. We’ve got a great group and we’re back into a place where we can start to talk about expectations.”