UCLA swim and dive set to start new season with new coach versus USD
UCLA swim and dive will kick off its season on Friday with a meet versus the University of San Diego and San Diego State. This will be the debut for some of the incoming Bruin freshmen, who were part of a No. 8 recruiting class. (Tanmay Shankar/Assistant Photo editor)
By Coral Smith
Sept. 13, 2019 6:40 p.m.
The Bruins will be back in the pool.
UCLA swim and dive will start off the season Friday with a meet on the road versus the University of San Diego. San Diego State will also compete at the meet, but will not be scored head-to-head against UCLA.
The matchup marks the first meet for the Bruins under new head coach Jordan Wolfrum, who had most recenty been the associate head coach at Ohio State. Wolfrum was hired at the end of the 2018 season when former head coach Cyndi Gallagher retired after 30 years with the program.
Last season UCLA went 8-3 in dual meets, including a 215-77 win over San Diego. The Bruins finished sixth at the Pac-12 championships and sent 10 athletes to the NCAA championships.
This season, the Bruins boast an incoming recruiting class that was named No. 8 in the nation, the first time a UCLA freshman class has been ranked since 2015.
Eight incoming freshmen are expected to make their debut at the meet. In addition, the Bruins will see the return of some of their top swimmers from last season, including 2019 NCAA qualifiers senior Kenisha Liu and sophomore Claire Grover.
Not returning will be recently-graduated swimmers Emma Schanz and Sandra Soe, who both qualified for NCAAs in 2018 and were part of that ranked 2015 recruiting class.
While this weekend’s meet will not include diving events, two incoming freshmen divers will make their collegiate debut later this season. The new pair will have large shoes to fill, as recently-graduated Eloise Belanger and Maria Polyakova both made it to the NCAA championships in 2018, with Polyakova taking the 3-meter individual title.
Host team San Diego lost in its dual meets against both UCLA and San Diego State last year, eventually finishing the season with a 28th place finish at the NIC championships.
In contrast, the Aztecs went a perfect 13-0 in dual meets last season, their fourth undefeated dual-meet season in the last six years. In addition, San Diego State is the reigning Mountain West Conference champion.
The meet will start at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.