UC-San Diego Sweeps PCSC Titles For Fifth Straight Season

The UC San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving teams put the finishing touches on their fifth straight league crowns on the fourth and final day of the 2013 Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships Saturday at the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatic Center.

The fourth-ranked Triton men totaled 1543.5 points through 20 events, topping a field of nine programs with Cal Baptist (1357.5) and Fresno Pacific (1108) closest. The No. 3 UCSD women finished with 1364.5 points, safely ahead of Cal State East Bay (954), conference newcomer Simon Fraser (886) from British Columbia and 10 other schools.

"It feels great to win here for a fifth consecutive time on both sides and also qualify a number of new people for the national meet," remarked UCSD co-head coach Matt Macedo. "We didn't meet every one of our goals, but competed pretty well, which is a good sign as we approach the NCAA Championships."

Erika Rodman, a junior transfer from Penn State competing in her first PCSC meet, began Saturday's evening portion by winning the mile in 17:10.69. Jeremy Smith swam 15:39.26 to make it a Triton double in the longest event of the championships, as well as a personal double for the senior who had already won the 500 on Thursday.

Anji Shakya, the Tritons' junior co-captain who had already won the 200 and 500 freestyle finals emphatically this week, completed her treble by taking the 200 back in 2:01.35.

"Anji stepped up in a million different ways this week," said Macedo about the Female High Point-Scorer (MVP) for the meet. "She won every race she swam individually, and posted some great times with no rest, which is incredible. She helped get two or three more relays to the national meet and could really be a force in Alabama."

True freshman Naomi Thomas won her first individual conference title in taking the 200 fly by over two full seconds in a time of 2:01.53, with redshirt freshman teammate Dari Watkins third (2:04.23). Thomas had easily registered the fastest prelim time as well.

Nicholas Korth defended his back-to-back titles in his specialty, the 200 breast, swimming 1:57.49 to win by three-plus seconds. He was the only athlete to go under two minutes on the day, and fell just .02 seconds of besting his own meet record of 1:57.47 from the 2012 PCSCs.

Stassi followed Korth by winning the 200 fly in a meet-record 1:47.22, just ahead of teammate Adam Rice in 1:50.63, with Yen completing a 1-2-3 Triton sweep in 1:51.36. Stassi's mark lowered the 1:47.53 set by former UCSD standout Kurt Boehm back in 2005.

About Rice, who swept the individual medley events earlier in the week and ultimately shared Male High Point-Scorer (MVP) honors, Macedo added, "Adam came into this meet with a lot of pressure, and put himself in great position to reach the NCAA Championships. We're very proud of his performance."

UCSD diving coach Michelle Casillas garnered Female Dive Coach of the Year distinction.

Rosa Bebi (2:20.04), Casey Adams (2:20.48) and Eva Chen (2:20.92) went 3-4-5 in the 200 breast, while fourth-year senior Katherine Tse placed fifth in the 100 free.

Paul Li was third behind Smith in the men's 1650. Fellow freshman Michael Leung was UCSD's top finisher in the 200 back in fourth (1:50.85), with Reid McCallum likewise in the 100 free (46.37). Senior Jacob Lammott (2:02.25) and AJ Zavala (2:07.61) went 4-5 in the 200 breast.

The Triton foursome of Sierra Robbins, Tse, Amber Tan and Colleen Daley combined for a second-place effort in the meet-concluding 400 free relay in 3:27.79, just behind Simon Fraser's top group in 3:27.53.

In the men's relay, Rice, McCallum, Jack Galvan and anchor Stassi went 3:02.75 to touch second behind Fresno Pacific (3:00.58).

Next up for UCSD is the 2013 NCAA Division II Championships in Birmingham, Ala., March 6-9. The full list of Tritons qualifying for the meet will be determined in the coming days.