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Swim and dive sets personal bests, sees improvements in loss to Cal

Second-year coach Jordan Wolfrum led UCLA swim and dive to its best Pac-12 finish since 2014 last season, and said she’s very happy with the way the Bruins performed this weekend. (Lillie Yazdi/Daily Bruin)

Swim and Dive

No. 7 California218

By Ricardo Garcia

Feb. 2, 2021 12:52 p.m.

The scoreboard may have shown a lopsided loss, but coach Jordan Wolfrum said she found many positives from an otherwise productive weekend.

UCLA swim and dive (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) returned from the Bay Area with a 218-119 loss to No. 7 California (2-0, 2-0). The Bruins only had one event win throughout the two-day meet, a victory by sophomore diver Hannah Butler in 3-meter diving.

“(Cal) is one of the best teams in the nation, and they were putting some of the best times in the nation,” Wolfrum said. “The scoreboard maybe doesn’t show it as clearly, (but) we were very very very good, and I’m really happy with the way that we competed this weekend.”

UCLA swimmers recorded 11 individual NCAA B cuts, as well as some personal best times.

Freshman swimmer Nora Clarkowski was among those who recorded a new personal record, a 23.16 in the 50-yard freestyle.

“I felt like I came in with a great mindset and good attitude toward the meet and that really showed with the results,” Clarkowski said. “We’re just kind of getting into the season, and I think we’ve shown some good times so far this season, and I think we’re only going to get better throughout the year.”

Despite the personal achievements, there was still a large gap between the Golden Bears and the Bruins as Cal has won 22 consecutive dual meets over UCLA in the modern swim and dive era.

Even with the one-sided loss, Indiana transfer and sophomore swimmer Katrina Sommer said she still felt pleased with the energy her teammates brought.

“I think the energy I bring and everyone else has is just wonderful this year,” Sommer said. “We just keep on fighting to take those points from Cal, and I think we’re getting close to being really competitive.”

Wolfrum echoed the sentiment, and emphasized that recruiting and development will help the Bruins close the talent gap against top teams like Cal and Stanford in the long term. In the short term, however, she said she believes the team can still make up what they lacked over the next few weeks.

“We still have some rest and taper to have and I think that we’ll be competing on the board and in the pool at an even higher level over the next few weeks,” Wolfrum said. “Cal is very much at the top of the Pac-12, certainly the top times in the Pac-12 so far this year. I think we can close the gap a little bit.”

UCLA will return to action on Feb. 12-13, when the Bruins will visit USC (0-1, 0-1) at Uytengsu Aquatics Center for a second time this season. The meet is expected to be a tri-meet featuring Utah (3-0, 1-0), which UCLA will see for the first time on the campaign.

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Ricardo Garcia | Sports reporter
Garcia is currently a reporter on the women's water polo beat. He was previously a contributor on the swim & dive, track & field and men's water polo beats.
Garcia is currently a reporter on the women's water polo beat. He was previously a contributor on the swim & dive, track & field and men's water polo beats.
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