UCLA Swimming Tops Arizona State

UCLA edged Arizona State. Photo Courtesy: www.uclabruins.com

UCLA swimming completed a two-for-two weekend in the Grand Canyon State after edging No. 25 Arizona State by a score of 156-142 on Saturday at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.

With the win, the Bruins extended their season-opening dual meet winning streak to five. ASU dropped to 1-2 overall.

The meet was a back-and-forth affair all day, with UCLA eventually squeaking it out by winning nine of 16 events. The Bruins had to fight back after falling behind early as the Sun Devils won each of the first three events.

The Bruins were buoyed by the quartet of freshman Sophia Kosturos (backstroke), sophomore Claire Grover (breaststroke), senior Amy Okada (butterfly), and junior Ruby Neave (diving), who swept both of the events in their top stroke/competition.

Sophomore Ella Kirschke clinched the win for UCLA with a tight win in the penultimate event of the day, the 200 IM.

The morning didn’t get off to the most auspicious start for the Bruins, as ASU pulled out a win by just two-tenths of a second over the UCLA A Team (3:31.04) in the 400 medley relay. The Sun Devils would go on to extend their early lead after grabbing the win in the 1000 free and 200 free.

The Bruins began to turn the tide in the 100 back, starting a run of three straight event wins to bring the score back to nearly-even.

Kosturos picked up the win in the 100 back, posting a time of 54.38 to beat out the field by over a second.

Next up was Grover for UCLA swimming, who swam a 1:01.64 to win the 100 breast and notch her second NCAA B Cut in as many days. Okada then followed up with a solid 1:59.50 in the 200 fly, putting her under the 2-minute mark in that event for the second time this weekend.

ASU’s Camryn Curry beat out a tightly-packed field to win the 50 free, though the Bruins minimized the damager there by placing the next three finishers led by Kenisha Liu‘s 23.42.

That win for the Sun Devils gave them a slight lead heading into the break, though the Bruins made the margin ultra-slim when the results of the 3M diving championship came in as Neave topped the field at 259.95 to claim her first-ever collegiate win in that event.

Once competition resumed, the two teams traded wins over the next four events, with Kosturos taking the 200 back (1:59.26) and Grover winning the 200 breast (season-best 2:14.85) while the Sun Devils claimed wins in the 100 free and 500 free.

Okada’s win in the 100 fly (54.28) created a bit of separation for UCLA swimming, which grew when Neave locked down the win in 1-meter diving with a season-best score of 285.60.

The 285.60 was the second NCAA Zones-qualifying score in 1M for Neave in as many days, marking a fine start to the Melbourne, Australia native’s career after missing her first two seasons at UCLA due to injury. Paired with her performance at Arizona on Friday, Neave has won three of the four events she’s entered and secured a postseason spot in one event.

Kirschke put the Bruins over the top with a fine performance in the 200 IM, finishing the race in 2:03.19. Kirschke was trailing ASU’s Jade Foelse after the second stroke of the IM, but bounced back to record the fastest splits of any swimmer in the breast and free to make up the gap and touch first.

Arizona State Highlights
Cierra Runge opened the meet on a high note, anchoring down the ASU relay to take a close win in the 400-yard medley relay by just two-hundredths of a second. Emma Nordin followed with a win in the 1000 free for her third win in the event in as many meets. At the first break, the Sun Devils led over the Bruins, 76-73.

ASU as a team took home seven victories on the afternoon, headlined by Nordin (1000 free & 500 free) and Runge’s (100 free & 200 free) two-win performances. Other ASU wins came from Camryn Curry (50 free) who has dominated the 50 free – taking three wins in three meets – and team wins in both relays.

Frida Kaellgren shined in the diving well, notching her first zone qualifying score in the one-meter springboard. Kaellgren placed second in both board events, with her score of 266.10 in the one meter qualifying her to compete in the Zone E Championships at the end of the season.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with UCLA and Arizona State Athletics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.