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UCLA swim and dive earns 1st-place finish at UNLV Invitational

Sophomore swimmer Eva Carlson swims the breaststroke in competition. Carlson got a personal best and win in the 200-yard individual medley followed by the same result in the 200-yard breaststroke. (Joseph Jimenez/Assistant Photo editor)

By Felicia Keller

Dec. 21, 2022 11:10 a.m.

The Bruins won 15 of 19 events over the weekend, including wins in all of the relays, freestyle and individual medley events.

UCLA swim and dive (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12) finished first overall at the UNLV Invitational from Saturday to Monday, scoring 1,344 points overall and 582 more points than the next closest team Northern Arizona.

Sophomore swimmer Eva Carlson won the 200-yard individual medley Saturday, recording a personal best in the final with a time of 2:00:96. She improved on her time in the preliminary race by 1.4 seconds and exceeded her previous personal best of 2:01.99 by over a second. She had not previously swum the event since last season.

“At this meet, with the opportunity to swim some different events, I did the 200 IM because it’s still one of my better events,” Carlson said. “I was able to go up in time which was really exciting because as we swim more and more, best times become rare.”

Carlson continued her strong weekend with a personal best and win in the 200-yard breaststroke. She also placed fourth in the 100-yard individual medley and swam the breaststroke for the 400-yard medley relay-winning team along with senior swimmer Sophia Kosturos on backstroke, senior swimmer Gabby Dang on butterfly and fifth-year swimmer Claire Grover on freestyle.

The Bruins’ relay teams finished first and second in the 400-yard medley relay, first and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay and first and second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Coach Jordan Wolfrum said the relays were impressive given how hard the team has been working in practice this week.

“Our relays demonstrated to the best level how much we were capable of, considering how tired and overworked we were,” Wolfrum said. “I’m really, really proud of that because those relays were a combination of just energy and effort and pride.”

The Bruins dominated in the shorter freestyle races, with Grover headlining a podium sweep for UCLA in the 50-yard freestyle, while senior swimmer Rachel Rhee headed the Bruins’ top five finishers in the 100-yard freestyle.

“We’re in the middle of a really hard training period right now and just went to the meet to see what we could do,” said junior swimmer Maya Wilson. “We didn’t really have any expectations. So going into it and pulling that out was really fun to get.”

Wolfrum said the meet highlighted the Bruins’ focus this season on finding joy and fighting for one another.

“I think the successes that you saw there were more a factor of just how much pride and effort and energy and hustle these women were willing to give to each other,” Wolfrum said. “It’s one of those meets that it really doesn’t feel like an individual sport.”

The Bruins head into the end of 2022 with a week off before they return for two weeks of practice and a meet at UC San Diego on Jan. 7.

But after its last meet before the holiday break, the team celebrated the success of the weekend and the upcoming holidays with a team dinner before the athletes headed home for a week.

“On the bus ride home, we all listened to Christmas music and sang along and at dinner, we had some yummy treats,” Wilson said.

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Felicia Keller
Keller is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the men’s soccer, swim and dive, women’s water polo, and softball beats. She was previously a contributor on the swim and dive and women’s water polo beats and a contributor in the News and Photo sections. She is also a second-year sociology student.
Keller is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the men’s soccer, swim and dive, women’s water polo, and softball beats. She was previously a contributor on the swim and dive and women’s water polo beats and a contributor in the News and Photo sections. She is also a second-year sociology student.
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