What would appear to be a normal weekend quickly took an unexpected turn for the Bruins.
In UCLA swim and dive’s first split weekend of competition, the swimming team’s (3-0) Saturday morning meet against UC Santa Barbara (1-2) and UC San Diego (1-3) at Spieker Aquatics Center was abruptly cancelled due to poor air quality from the nearby fires in Malibu. It has been rescheduled for Jan. 11, 2019.
On the other side of town, UCLA dive (3-0) wrapped up a three-day affair at the Trojan Diving Invitational on Sunday afternoon, with each of its three divers finishing in the top seven of the women’s platform championship at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
“I thought we made good strides and managed the competition well,” said diving coach Tom Stebbins. “The things that we’ve been working on have been improving, and we looked consistent throughout the weekend.”
Senior Traci Shiver and freshman Veronica Thompson lead off the first two days of action. Shiver scored in the top ten of all three events throughout the weekend, logging a final score of 405.85 with a strong third-place finish during Friday’s 1-meter.
Thompson finished Sunday as the Bruins’ top diver for the second day in a row, registering an score of 425.65 over the preliminaries and finals, with fifth- and sixth-place performances in the 1-meter and 3-meter, respectively.
The pair was joined by senior Madeline Russell, who posted an overall score of 398.75 on the last day of competition and claimed seventh in the invite.
The trio finished fifth, sixth, and seventh out of eighteen divers, with freshman Thompson topping it off for the Bruins.
“(Thompson) is very talented, and I’ve been really impressed with her discipline, consistency and how she’s managed herself,” Stebbins said. “She’s got the ability to be a major contributor and I am excited to see her continue to develop.”
The invitational featured teams from throughout the state and abroad, including USC, Azusa Pacific, Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Fresno State, UC San Diego and Chinese club team Tianjing.
Although UCLA fell shy of host school USC’s top scorers, Stebbins said he remains optimistic moving forward.
“Fall is always a bit of a wild card, but it gives us a great chance to really evaluate ourselves and our game,” Stebbins said. “As long as we continue to address our issues and stay focused on the end goal, I think we’re in a good spot.”
UCLA swim and dive will return to action from Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 in Athens, Georgia, for the Georgia Fall Invitational.