UCLA Downs UC San Diego, 165-119
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA swim and dive team captured a 165-119 victory over UC San Diego on Saturday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Center.
The Bruins (3-2) had the best score/time in all 16 scheduled events against the Tritons (3-1).
Senior Claire Grover led the way for UCLA with wins in both sprint freestyle events, and also swam the anchor leg for winning relay squads in the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.
Junior Hannah Butler dominated the diving events, recording new personal bests in both 1-meter and 3-meter en route to a pair of wins.
Freshmen Paige MacEachern (200 fly, 500 free) and Ana Jih-Schiff (200 breast, 200 IM) also finished first in multiple events.
Other first-place finishers for the Bruins included junior Stephanie Su (1000 free), junior Rachel Rhee (200 free), junior Sophia Kosturos (100 back), freshman Eva Carlson (100 breast), senior Abriana Howard (200 back), and junior Gabby Dang (100 fly).
UCLA opened the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay, with the quartet of Kosturos-Carlson-Dang-Grover posting a time of 1:41.30. The Bruins had the top three relay finishes in that race, with UCLA B coming in at 1:45.80 and UCLA C touching in 1:46.12.
Su (10:43.65) and freshman Taylor Schaffer (10:48.16) placed 1-2 in the 1000 yard freestyle for UCLA.
Rhee (1:52.98) and junior Brooke Schaffer (1:54.31) took the top two spots in the 200 free, with senior Delaney Smith (1:55.17) also scoring for the Bruins.
UCLA had four of the top-five finishers in the 100 back, led by Kosturos (55.02) and runner-up freshman Mia Chang (56.62). The Bruins then went on to place the top-three finishers in the four-swimmer 100 breast, which was won by Carlson (1:03.48).
MacEachern picked up her first win of the day in the following event, the 200 fly, with a time of 2:06.89.
The first set of events closed out with a 1-2 finish for the Bruins in the 50 free, with Grover (23.09) and freshman Joanie Cash (24.00) taking the top two spots.
After a short break, Grover made it two consecutive wins by placing first in the 100 free (51.22), leading a 1-2-3 finish for UCLA (Kosturos, 51.87; B. Schaffer, 52.46).
That 100 free performance started a string of three straight 1-2-3 events for the Bruins: Howard (2:03.12), Chang (2:05.46), and Smith (2:06.99) in the 200 back, and Jih-Schiff (2:18.94), freshman Emma Matous (2:22.12), and junior Katrina Sommer (2:25.24) in the 200 breast.
The next event brought the second win of the day for MacEachern, who finished the 500 free in 5:06.88, nearly 10 seconds better than the runner-up.
Dang (55.36) brought home a final event win for the Bruins in the 100 fly.
UCLA swam exhibitions the rest of the meet, though Jih-Schiff (2:05.87) had the best time in the 200 IM field, and the UCLA As (3:28.39) touched first in the 400 free relay.
UCLA's divers had a similarly dominant performance in the springboard events.
Butler (312.90) and freshmen Zoe Jespersgaard (309.30) and Maya Salvitti (259.50) all recorded personal-bests en route to a 1-2-3 finish in 1-meter.
Similarly, Butler (341.78) and Jespersgaard (306.30) each set new lifetime-bests to take the top two spots in the 3M competition. Butler's score was nearly 40 points higher than her previous career-best, while Jespersgaard eclipsed the 300-point mark for the first time in her young career.
UCLA is back in action next weekend, hosting the Bruin Diving Invitational from Jan. 14-16. The squad's next dual meets will be against Stanford and California on Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, respectively.
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