UC Davis‘ men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams arrived at the UC Santa Cruz campus on Saturday afternoon with expectations of swimming well. The teams did just that, beating the host Banana Slugs handily.
The women’s team picked up a 179-81 win, while the men left with a 180-127 victory. The dual between the Aggies and the Slugs was the first time the schools faced off one-on-one in the past five seasons.
The women made their presence felt at Fieldhouse Swimming Pool, winning the first nine events of the day. The team then went on to exhibition the next three events, finishing the day winning 11 of 12.
“It was really nice to win,” junior Heidi Kucera said. “It seemed that there was a vibe of positive competitiveness between the two schools.”
Kucera was just one of several multiple event winners, winning the 200-yard breaststroke (2:23.37), the 200 freestyle (1:55.77) and was a member of the 200 medley relay team.
“The Slugs were really positive towards everyone, which was good because it took some of the pressure off,” said junior transfer Jen Cadmus. “There was good chemistry within our team.”
Cadmus won both the 100 and 200 fly, posting a 59:35 and 2:14.02, respectively.
Overall, nine women picked up individual wins, including senior captain Mary Struempf, who won the 100 breast (1:07.50)
She was also a member of the 200 medley relay (1:48.58).
Others winners included freshmen Kayleigh Foley in the 50 freestyle (24.49) and Jenah Dawson in the 200 individual medley (2:13.44).
Men’s head coach Pete Motekaitis said the team needs to practice hard and race hard to make the travel team, giving the team motivation to race well.
The men’s team also won its first nine events and then swam exhibition for the final three events.
Looking strong, freshmen Kevin Parizi and Alex Daneke added to the point tally winning the 100 backstroke (54.58) the 200 back (1:55.53), respectively.
Sophomores Matt Herman and Adam Borchard also contributed, each winning the 1,000 and 500 free. The men also had three swimmers win multiple events; sophomore Kyle Anderson beat the field in both the 200 and 100 breast, while redshirt juniors Scott Weltz and BJ Scoggan won two events each.
The dual was the first for Scoggan in an Aggies uniform. A transfer from California, Scoggan handily claimed the top spot in the men’s 200 free (1:47.95) and the 200 individual medley (1:59.28).
Still fresh off training for the U.S. Olympic trials, Scott Weltz just out-touched his teammates for wins in the 200 fly (1:51.69) and 100 fly (50.98).
“I’m excited to see how well we’ll end up swimming this season,” Kucera said. “We’re all – both men and women – swimming so well so early on already.“
The sentiment appears to be shared amongst both squads, as both teams have several athletes with the NCAA Championships in mind.
The divers made their season premiere at the dual. Senior Michael Androus was the top Aggie in the 1M dive, while sophomore Paul Navo tackled the low board. They finished third and second, respectively.
The Aggie women will face Nevada and Washington State next weekend in Reno, Nev.
ANDREA GUTIERREZ can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.