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UCLA swim and dive beats Utah, sweeps three events in record-breaking meet

Sophomore swimmer Ana Jih-Schiff in a breaststroke race. Jih-Schiff set a pool record on Friday at Ute Natatorium in the 200-yard breaststroke. (Jeremy Chen/Assistant Photo editor)

Swim and Dive

No. 20 UCLA175

By Sabrina Baker

Oct. 30, 2022 2:44 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this post and its caption incorrectly referred to swimming events as being measured in meters. In fact, swim events are measured in yards. The original version of this post also incorrectly stated UCLA swept the podium in three events. In fact, it only swept the podium in the 100-yard butterfly.

This post was updated Nov. 5 at 11:32 p.m.

After a meet up north, the Bruins came home with a win and a record-breaking performance in the 200-yard breaststroke.

No. 20 UCLA swim and dive (2-0,1-0 Pac-12) traveled to Salt Lake City this past Friday to compete against Utah (0-4, 0-4). The blue and gold scored 175 points to beat its competition by 50 points and extend its all-time record to 8-0 against the Utes.

Out of 16 events, the Bruins swept the podium in one – the 100-yard butterfly – and earned gold in 13, sweeping both relays.

Coach Jordan Wolfrum said she was impressed by the swimmers’ performances in the 100-yard butterfly.

“Our 100 flyers that went 1, 2, 3 – that was huge,” Wolfrum said. “That one was just a gritty race. Those were some highlights.”

UCLA dominated the freestyle events with fifth-year swimmer Claire Grover sweeping the sprint freestyle events and freshman swimmer Katrina Bellio sweeping the distance freestyle events.

The altitude – well over 4000 feet above sea level – provided a challenge for the Los Angeles-based team. Nevertheless, as the only fifth year on the team, Wolfrum said Grover was able to share some insight on how to take care of one’s body both in preparation and recovery.

Wolfrum added the Bruins put the altitude out of their mind for the duration of the meet.

“As a team, we made the decision before the meet that we weren’t going to talk about (the altitude),” Wolfrum said. “We weren’t going to give the home team the satisfaction of seeing the struggle on our faces.”

Sophomore swimmer Ana Jih-Schiff also acknowledged the difficulties altitude presents, especially during physical exertion.

“We were preparing our bodies for that and we knew that it was going to feel a little bit harder,” Jih-Schiff said. “But, we tried not to let it get to us a lot and we just fell back on our training and trusted our race plans. Honestly (we) just raced with pride.”

This strategy worked for Jih-Schiff – the sophomore broke the pool record in her 200-yard breaststroke. She posted a 2:15.28, beating the second place Utah swimmer by .38 seconds.

Wolfrum added that setting a pool record was monumental both in the moment and for the rest of the season, serving as motivation for the Bruins.

“All of our Pac-12 rivals have swam in this pool,” Wolfrum said. “To know that we can be the fastest 200 breaststroke that has ever happened there, and that belongs to a sophomore who put together a great race – that was definitely a big one.”

The dual meet format does not give the athletes a plethora of time between their events and typically finishes in under two hours. This differs from the format of invitationals and championship meets, such as the Fresno State Invitational, that the Bruins competed in to kick off their season.

Beyond the times between races, the invitational and championship style format can last over multiple days. The championship format will be used for the Pac-12 championship, which will last over three days and will see the Bruins face off against the Utes again.

Jih-Schiff said despite the difference in formats, she does not have a preference between the two.

“I will say that dual meets, it’s definitely you gotta be a lot more focused,” Jih-Schiff said. “You have to be moving constantly so that you’re ready for your race since it all happens in an hour. I think dual meets are really fun because everyone’s energy is super high the whole time.”

The Bruins will return home to hope to continue their win streak in back-to-back dual meets against Arizona and Arizona State at Spieker Aquatics Center on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5.

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Sabrina Baker | Sports contributor
Baker is currently a Sports contributor on the swim & dive beat.
Baker is currently a Sports contributor on the swim & dive beat.
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