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Rosie Murphy of UCLA swim and dive breaks record, but team comes up short to USC

UCLA swim and dive sophomore Rosie Murphy takes a breath during a stroke. Murphy set a new school record in the 200-yard backstroke Friday. (Alice Yang/Daily Bruin)

Swim and Dive

No. 4 USC164

By Sabrina Baker

Feb. 10, 2024 1:06 p.m.

A seven-year standing record was broken.

But on Senior Day, the Bruins fell short to their crosstown foes.

UCLA swim and dive (5-4, 3-4 Pac-12) lost to No. 4 USC (9-0, 6-0) by a final score of 164-136. Yet, sophomore Rosie Murphy set a new UCLA record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:53.25.

The previous record was set in 2017 by Madison White with a time of 1:53.39. Murphy said she didn’t go into the race focusing on the record.

“I was really just focused on swimming for my team and, honestly, beating the girls next to me,” Murphy said. “That’s all I was focused on. To accomplish that while not expecting it is really awesome.”

Murphy’s performance was one of four individual event wins for the Bruins over the Trojans. Murphy pulled double duty, also winning the 200-yard individual medley.

Alongside Murphy, graduate student Savana Trueb won the 3-meter springboard, and junior Paige MacEachern won the 200-yard butterfly.

Coach Jordan Wolfrum said MacEachern swam the event exactly the way Wolfrum wanted her to.

“We know Paige is a back-halfer in that race,” Wolfrum said. “So what I really loved about that for Paige was the calm that she took that out in.”

Friday also marked the last home meet of the season – and Senior Day to celebrate graduating Bruins.

The meet began with senior Maya Wilson having the fastest 50-yard freestyle split in the 200-yard medley relay, with a 21.89.

“I just knew that I wanted to do it for the team,” Wilson said. “Not just this year, the team, but all the years that I’ve trained with, being that it’s the senior meet.”

Wilson also was a part of the 200-yard freestyle relay that lost to USC by .05 seconds to end the meet.

There were numerous races Friday where UCLA was within a second of the win, such as junior Ana Jih-Schiff’s second-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke by 0.39 seconds.

“There were a lot of moments where, maybe from across the pool or looking at the results or up in the stands, you might not know why our team lost their mind at the thing on the board,” Wolfrum said.

Even with Murphy’s record-breaking performance, the Bruins ultimately fell to the Trojans to close out their home slate.

Wilson said even with the loss, the team made a point to enjoy the meet.

“We had so much fun on deck, and we always do at this meet,” Wilson said. “But especially this year, we made a point to have dance party celebrations after our wins. Just fun things.”

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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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