Teams: UC Davis vs. Pacific
Where: Schaal Aquatics Center — Davis, Calif.
When: Saturday at noon
Who to watch: Junior Samantha Shellem, a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, ought to be thrilling to watch, as she posted spectacular performances during the Mizzou Invitational.
Shellem picked up her second Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Female Athlete of the Week award over the break. In Missouri, she shattered the school 500-yard freestyle record at 4:48.69 and hit NCAA “B” qualifying standards in the 200 free.
Furthermore, Shellem also set personal records in the 100 free and 400 individual medley. Her time in the 400 IM ranks fifth in the Aggie record book and eighth in the conference.
Did you know? Last year, the Aggies powered past Pacific in a dual meet with 184 points. Senior Erica Stricker set a school record in the one-meter diving event and the UC Davis women’s team won 11 individual events and the 400 freestyle relay.
Senior Linda Hermann captured three wins while fellow senior Kayleigh Foley and junior Liliana Alvarez picked up two individual events.
Preview: Recently, the Aggies jumped two spots in the ranks and are now No. 8 based on CollegeSwimming.com’s latest list. In addition, the Aggies are the highest-ranked team out of the four Mountain Pacific Sports Federation schools.
The Aggies look to switch into competitive mode after three weeks of intensive practice in the pool.
“This is a great meet to have as an icebreaker,” said coach Barbara Jahn. “We are ready to get back into racing mode.”
For the most part, the team is looking at this meet as a means to gauge where they are on a competitive level after the several weeks of practicing sets and battling illnesses.
“It’ll be interesting to see how this will pan out,” Jahn said. “Swimmers that have been sick probably won’t be at their peak this weekend, while those who have recovered will be.”
Fortunately, the team maintains an edge with home court advantage, as they are familiar with the high-paced nature of the pool in the Schaal Aquatics Center.
“It’s nice to not have to travel,” Jahn said. “That’s probably the biggest benefit of having this meet at home.”
— Veena Bansal