Thursday, April 18, 2024

NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds

UCLA swim and dive makes a splash at invitationals with podium finishes, record

Junior Paige MacEachern pulls her arm up and out of the water in preparation for another stroke. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Aaron Doyle

Nov. 21, 2023 5:43 p.m.

This post was updated Nov. 26 at 8:47 p.m.

Two meets, 18 podium finishes and one school record.

No. 23 UCLA swim and dive (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) competed at the Art Adamson Invitational from Nov. 15-17 in State College, Texas, after which the divers took on the Trojan Diving Invitational from Nov. 17-19 at USC.

Diving coach Tom Stebbins said that despite unfavorable circumstances, including wind and no place for a hot shower, the Bruins still found success in the pool.

“There were some things that were a little bit out of control,” Stebbins said. “We had some good things happen despite that, but it was certainly a different kind of challenge.”

With the 2024 Olympics approaching, the format of the Art Adamson Invitational was modified from a traditional meet where every race is measured using yards. In the preliminary rounds, the athletes swam long course meters, while in the finals, the races were short course yards.

“We knew coming in that it could be a little bit of a challenge,” coach Jordan Wolfrum said. “Our team handled that challenge really, really well.”

The meet was highlighted by junior Paige MacEachern’s performance in the 400-yard individual medley. The Florida local achieved both a personal best and UCLA program record with a time of 4:06:15. This surpasses her previous school record in the 400-yard individual medley, which she broke at last year’s Pac-12 championships.

“I think I executed that pretty well,” MacEachern said. “I got a school record, and I’m just excited to see what’s to come for Pac-12s and NCs (national championships), and racing such competitive girls will definitely push me to go even faster.”

The Bruins swept the 200-yard individual medley, with MacEachern claiming the top position. Sophomore Rosie Murphy and junior Ana Jih-Schiff took second and third place, respectively.

UCLA also picked up podium finishes in the 200-yard and 800-yard medley relays, placing second and third, respectively. In the 200-yard breaststroke, four Bruins secured berths in the top 10, with Jih-Schiff’s time of 2:12.38 putting her in second place.

Senior Maya Wilson picked up personal best times in the 50-yard and 50-meter freestyle, the 100-yard and 100-meter freestyle and the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle.

“Maya Wilson had a really breakout meet,” Wolfrum said. “A senior who just did a whole lot of heavy lifting on some relays, including the 400-free relay at the end where we had gotten beat by Washington State at our dual meet a few weeks ago and got some revenge here.”

At the Trojan Diving Invitational, freshman Lauren Hallaselkä took first place in the 1-meter dive with a score of 597.15 to start things out for the Bruins. The Finnish diver later claimed third place in the 3-meter dive with a score of 640.75.

“She’s (Hallaselkä) a kid who I think just has unlimited potential,” Stebbins said. “She navigated errors this weekend really well.”

Freshman Laura Fisher placed fifth in the women’s platform, the highest finish of any Bruin in the event. With a 433.85 tally, Fisher secured a spot as an NCAA zones qualifier.

The Bruins also took home second and third in the team event, a new competition format recently added by the NCAA.

“I’m excited about all of it,” Stebbins said. “But I think there’s a lot of room for us to be better.”

The invitationals were the last meets of the fall season for UCLA. After nearly six weeks of consecutive meets, the Bruins will take a break before returning to action on Jan. 6.

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Aaron Doyle
Featured Classifieds
Apartments for Rent

APARTMENTS AVAILABLE: Studios, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms, and 3 bedrooms available on Midvale, Roebling, Kelton and Glenrock. Please call or text 310-892-9690.

More classifieds »
Related Posts