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UCLA swim and dive collects All-American accolades at NCAA championships

UCLA swim and dive junior Paige MacEachern pulls her arm through the air during a race. (Jeremy Chen/Photo editor)

By Sabrina Baker

March 26, 2024 2:45 p.m.

The Bruins accumulated six All-American accolades in Athens, Georgia.

Seven athletes from No. 21 UCLA swim and dive (5-4, 3-4 Pac-12) picked up All-American honors at the NCAA championship from Wednesday to Saturday. The Bruins finished in 22nd place with a total of 36 points – the highest mark they have achieved in the coach Jordan Wolfrum era, and their best finish since 2019.

For the first time in 11 years, a Bruin received All-American honors, a distinction given to athletes who finish in first through eighth place in their event. Junior Paige MacEachern finished eighth in the 400-yard individual medley.

“I was trying to be confident, and knowing that I’ve worked hard and I’ve done those times before,” MacEachern said. “I was confident in myself and once I was able to make it into the top eight, I recognized that I was able to get myself there.”

Sophomore swimmer Rosie Murphy, graduate student diver Savana Trueb, freshman diver Lauren Hallaselkä and sophomore diver Eden Cheng each secured All-American honorable mentions, awarded to those who who finish in ninth through 16th place in their event.

Murphy said this honor was a good culmination of her season.

“I feel really proud to be able to receive that,” Murphy said. “I feel like this whole season, I’ve worked really hard, and the team has worked really hard, and it feels like the hard work has paid off.”

And, for the first time in 13 years, UCLA sent two swimmers to the finals for one event – the 400-yard individual medley. Alongside MacEachern’s eighth-place finish, Murphy finished in tenth.

Murphy said this performance was her favorite of the championship meet.

“I feel like I just went out there and I just wanted to race the girls next to me,” Murphy said. “It was a fun race. It was a really fun experience being in finals.”

Three Pac-12 schools placed higher than the Bruins – fifth-place Stanford, eighth-place USC and 11th-place California.

Associate head coach Karissa Kruszewski said the Bruin success has been brewing since she and Wolfrum started coaching.

“It’s been a fun ride to see all that progress now where we are at and now being able to be like ‘Okay, we’re there, let’s continue to build on this and just be better as we keep moving forward,'” Kruszewski said.

With the end of the championship meet, the Bruins’ season has come to a close.

“Even though it’s a small group (at NCAAs), the team at home makes you feel like it’s not,” MacEachern said. “ They’re always texting us, they’re always watching us, sending us videos. The support is really really awesome and it has definitely kept me going.”

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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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