This season, the UCLA swim team has been focused on versatility.
This weekend, freshman Katy Campbell showed just how versatile the swimmers have become.
Campbell, a distance freestyler, realized one of the teams for the 200-medley relay was missing a swimmer, so she jumped in the pool.
“I was just kind of there and they needed someone to swim and they were like “˜get in the pool,’ so I did,” Campbell said. “It was a good warm-up for my 1,000-meter race. Everyone was cheering and the relay did well.”
The Bruins took first and second in the relay, and the freshman went on to win the 1,000m free.
These sorts of individual and team successes were the norm this weekend, as the swim team defeated Washington State and UC Davis and the dive team had several strong individual showings at the Trojan Diving Invitational.
“I thought we did good. We looked a little tired (on Friday) which was kind of to be expected, so we weren’t particularly sharp. But I thought we competed really well,” diving coach Tom Stebbins said.
All five divers on Saturday made it to the final round, but the day’s highlight was sophomore diver Emma Ivory-Ganja’s performance. She came back from a fourth place finish in the 1-meter final on Friday to take the 3-meter crown.
“The meet went pretty well,” Ivory-Ganja said. “I made some improvements from the first meet so it was nice to see improvements, but I still have a lot that I can make.”
Junior Paulina Guzman, a perennial strong performer for UCLA, took second on the 1-meter and third on the 3-meter, but she was also focused on what she can do better.
“I just have to focus, break down each dive and see what I did wrong and how I can change that,” Guzman said.
Back at Spieker Aquatics Center, the swimmers improved their record to 5-0, beating Washington State with a score of 150-97 and UC Davis 136-119.
The Bruins’ strong score, however, masks some of the growing pains younger members of the team have been experiencing as they get used to the big differences between high school and college swimming.
“I think first year is always full of change and everything is new, so if I didn’t go (swim the) best times, I wouldn’t be unhappy because I know my strokes are all changing,” said freshman Megan Rankin, who overcame a rough start to win her heat in the 200-yard butterfly.
The Bruins hope to do the same with their season: to struggle through improvements in the beginning so they can be polished and ready for the Pac-12 meets in the future.
“The focus and the emphasis all fall has just been on mechanical changes and just trying to get those locked into muscle memory,” Stebbins said.