PHOENIX, Arizona, January 3. THE holidays have come to a close, and NCAA swimming and diving dual meet action resumes this weekend as swimmers return to campus or head out to warm, sunny destinations for mid-season training trips. After a sensational fall which saw dozens of swimmers post NCAA ‘A’ cuts at multiple invitationals, the spring semester figures to be just as exciting. Here’s a preview of the meets to watch for this weekend in Division II and III.
The UC San Diego Tritons will be one of the busiest teams this weekend, with back-to-back, multi-team meets on Saturday and Sunday. First, the Tritons will race against Grand Canyon, Boise State and San Diego State on Saturday; then they’ll take on Incarnate Word, Missouri S&T and San Jose State on Saturday. UC San Diego should be well prepared for the challenge, as this will be the team’s third meet in the last week. The women’s team fell to San Diego State while the men’s team was defeated by Air Force on Monday in the team’s final meet of 2013.
UC San Diego closed out the fall semester in impressive fashion at the Arena Invitational, where several swimmers posted top-25 times. Colleen Daley (50 free, 23.68; 100 free, 51.48), Sierra Robbins (50 free, 23.88; 100 free, 51.87), Anjali Shakya (200 free, 1:50.00; 500 free, 4:50.30; 200 back, 2:02.83), Erika Rodman (500 free, 5:01.62; 1000 free, 10:25.44) and Naomi Thomas (100 fly, 55.93; 200 fly, 2:03.11) are all ranked in the top-25 in multiple events on the women’s side and will definitely be a factor in this weekend’s duals. On the men’s side, Nicholas Korth (50 free, 20.36; 100 breast, 53.59; 200 breast, 1:56.26; 200 IM, 1:49.60), Paul Li (500 free, 4:27.62; 400 IM, 3:57.10), Kyle Nadler (500 free, 4:31.60; 1000 free, 9:25.24), Alexander Mitrushina (1000 free, 9:29.99; 1650 free, 15:47.10) and Alexander Moshensky (200 back, 1:48.18) are all threats in multiple events.
Tampa, ranked fourth on the men’s side and fifth on the women’s by Endless Pools/Collegeswimming.com, will host the Tampa Relay Invite this weekend. It should be a highly competitive meet, as Tampa has some of the top relays in the country. The Tampa men are ranked no lower than fourth nationally in the five relays: first in the 400 free relay, second in the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay, third in the 200 medley and fourth in the 800 free relay nationally. With five sprinters under 21 seconds in the 50 free and three swimmers ranked in the top 11 of the 100 free, they can certainly put together some impressively quick relays.
Williams will open the 2014 portion of its dual meet schedule against Boston University this weekend in a battle of Northeast teams. On the women’s side, Williams will rely on strong depth across all of the events, and especially it’s freestyle group of Faye Sultan, Sarah Thompson and Lauren Jones and flyer/IMer Megan Pierce, to score big points in the meet. The Williams men will look to Christian Gronbeck, Benjamin Lin, Nathaniel Boley, Jacob Tamposi and Knox Young to keep them in the hunt against the Terriers.
After a very strong showing at the Total Performance Invitational in December, the Johns Hopkins men and women shot up the Division III rankings to second on the women’s side and fourth on the men’s side. They’ll race against East Carolina in a relay-only meet today. Anastasia Bogdonovski, Sarah Rinsma, Kylie Ternes, Taylor Kitayama, Shirley Chan, Samantha Fox and Abigail Brown all posted times ranked in the top 15 nationally last month, as did teammates Anthony Lordi, William Kimball, Evan Holder, Andew Greenhalgh and Dylan Davis. With so many weapons across the board, the Blue Jays are definitely ones to watch as the NCAA Championships approach.