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UCLA swim and dive hits personal, team goals at intrasquad meet

The Bruins do a cheer after their annual Blue vs. Gold intrasquad meet. Despite being behind going in, the Gold team pulled ahead in the final relay to secure the victory. (Amy Ionescu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Megan Cai

Oct. 16, 2022 4:05 p.m.

Despite a cloudy weekend, the Bruins brought spirit and speed to their annual intrasquad meet.

UCLA swim and dive concluded its six-week internal competition with the Blue vs. Gold intrasquad meet on Friday and Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Center. The competition divided the team into two rivaling groups – the blue and the gold – as they participated in a series of different competitions, including weight room, dryland and social media competitions.

The blue team had already accumulated a 25-point lead heading into the meet, but the gold team emerged victorious during the 400-yard freestyle relay – the final race of the meet.

Although it was not an official meet, the event served as a first look into the Bruins’ roster. UCLA is currently ranked No. 20 in the preseason, marking the team’s highest preseason ranking since 2016.

With her original goal of a top-20 ranking at the end of the quarter already achieved, coach Jordan Wolfrum said her goals will have to shift.

“What I think is going to happen is that we’ll pick up some NCAA qualifiers at our midseason competition,” Wolfrum said. “We’re going to see some team records go down sooner than later, and we are going to be a team that gets some attention.”

The meet also allowed the Bruins to show off their speed. Although the team was split in half for the intrasquad meet, the winning 200-yard medley relay time was eight-tenths of a second faster than their time at the Fresno State Invitational last weekend.

Apart from the team’s performance in the water, Wolfrum said her favorite part about the blue and gold competition is the high level of spirit her swimmers bring.

“We are truly an elite team this year,” Wolfrum said. “Our talent is really exciting, but beyond that, our culture and energy and buy-in and focus is through the roof.”

Senior swimmer Lauryn Johnson said the team did a better job at racing than in both its last mock meet and its first meet of the season. For Johnson, the intrasquad meet was a chance for her to both implement what she does at practice and experiment with events she doesn’t typically swim.

“I don’t get to swim relays a lot, so it was really fun for me to be able to swim on a relay at my last blue and gold,” Johnson said.

Besides its times, the team demonstrated high morale and camaraderie throughout the entire competition. Senior swimmer Lindsay Stenstrom said seeing everything come to fruition at the end of her four years was the best part of the meet.

“The one thing that this meet really tells is that we have such great team chemistry,” Stenstrom said. “At the end of the day, … we’re all Bruins and we love each other and we’re going to work hard to win the rest of our meets this year.”

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Megan Cai | Assistant Photo editor
Cai is a 2022-2023 assistant Photo editor on the Arts beat and an Arts, Sports and Podcasts contributor. She is a second-year communication student minoring in food studies.
Cai is a 2022-2023 assistant Photo editor on the Arts beat and an Arts, Sports and Podcasts contributor. She is a second-year communication student minoring in food studies.
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