Tuesday, May 26

Swim and dive leave opposition floundering in its wake

Junior diver Eloise Belanger finished first in the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions and second on platform. (Ken Shin/Daily Bruin staff)

The Bruins brought home a victory against the Beavers and also secured gold-medal dives in their first competitions of 2018.


UCLA swimming (5-3, 2-2 Pac-12) dominated Oregon State (0-5, 0-3) on Friday with a score of 150-88.

Despite a slow start, swimming had standout performances across the board and managed to come away with two meet records courtesy of junior Emma Schanz. She set a record in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:02.52 and also broke the record in the 100-yard backstroke portion of the 400-yard medley relay. Schanz also managed to place first in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke.

Sophomore Amy Okada took first in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, and was also a part of the winning 400-yard medley relay.

“Another person that is on fire right now is (Okada),” said coach Cyndi Gallagher. “She’s been swimming fast at practice and got a lot of confidence.”

Senior Maddy Burnham had another top-three finish in the 50-yard freestyle.

Fellow senior Margaux Verger Gourson took first in the 1000-yard freestyle and was out-touched by sophomore Lisa Kaunitz in the 500-yard freestyle by two hundredths of a second. This was only Gourson’s second meet of the season since recovering from a back injury. Nevertheless, she said she expected and wanted more from this meet.

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes, which is good coming into the last weeks of training because I know all the details I need to work on and everything I need to adjust,” said Gourson.

Gallagher said that there is a feeling of urgency as the athletes approach the end of the season. Gourson, being a senior that is also working through an injury, said she is trying to take every opportunity she can to get better.

“I’m definitely in the best mobility and flexibility I’ve been like so far after my surgery. … It’s also my last year of collegiate swimming, so I just want to go for it,” said Gourson. “Just give it my all so I don’t have any regret.”


Diving garnered top finishes at the Bruin Diving Invitational at Spieker Aquatics Center this weekend thanks to veteran divers. Junior Eloise Belanger took home two first-place medals in the 1-meter and 3-meter events along with a second-place finish in the platform event.

“(Belanger) was exceptional,” said diving coach Tom Stebbins. “She had … been a little bit sick, and so, I think, getting her focus back and then finding a way to kind of overcome the physical part that she was a little bit behind on was really important.”

Belanger said she is proud that her dives were consistent this weekend but looks to polish her dives in the weeks to come.

Senior Ciara Monahan placed fifth in the 3-meter and seventh in the 1-meter finals. Junior Traci Shiver placed ninth in the finals for the platform event.

Although the Bruins saw top performances from Belanger, Monahan and Shiver, the other divers didn’t make it passed the preliminary rounds.

“We need more, for sure, out of our bottom half,” said Stebbins.

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.