UC Davis swimming and diving team defeats UC Santa Barbara in final home meet of season.
Down by double digit figures with four races to go, the Aggies last home meet looked to be marred by a tough loss to inter-conference rivals UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 23. With the seniors being recognized for the final time for their achievements as part of the Aggie swim team, the crowd, the largest the Aggies have had all season, appeared to be restless for a heroic rally.
“Well, I told them to stay focused,” said Head Coach Barbara Jahn. “It’s always a close one with the Gauchos, it always is, so I needed them to stay focused and be prepared.”
The crowd certainly couldn’t have asked for more, as senior Lexy Troup and junior Hilvy Cheung led the resurgence by winning the final three individual events of the day, recouping an eighteen point deficit to win 154-140.
Troup, who started the comeback by placing first in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:04.71, also had an earlier victory in the 1000-yard freestyle, clocking in at 10:28.30.
In the 200-yard medley relay, the Aggies placed second.
“We had a lot of confidence coming into it, but we usually get the first relay, so when I saw that we got second it was kind of scary and then we never had the lead the rest of the way until the end,” Troup said.
Cheung also won back to back events at the end to seal the victory, starting with the 100-yard Butterfly (56.11), and immediately followed through with a top time of 2:05.83 in the 200-yard individual medley. With yet another win in the 200-yard Butterfly (2:02.24), and a second place finish as part of the 200-yard medley relay (1:43.74), Cheung accounted for 31 of the Aggies’ 154 total points.
With UC Santa Barbara opting not to sponsor a diving team for the season, Aggie senior divers Lucy Lafranchise and Audrey DeNeffe obtained victories in the one-meter dive and the three-meter dive, respectively, securing an essential 32 points that helped lead the way for an Aggie victory.
Freshman swimmer Solie Laughlin was also able to secure a victory for the Aggies. After being edged out by Gauchos swimmer Cheyenne Low in the 100-yard Backstroke, who came away with the victory with a time of 56.12 to Laughlin’s 56.17, the Aggie extracted her revenge, beating out Low’s time of 2:01.69 in the 200-yard Backstroke with her own time of 2:01.04.
With four races left to go, the meet was momentarily suspended in order to allow for the acknowledgement of Senior Day for the Aggie swimmers, recognizing them for their achievements in and out of the water
Troup, Lafranchise and DeNeffe were among those commended for their dedication to the program, as well as seniors Marissa Brown, Hailey Ferko, Madeline Benavidez and Brittany Rojo, in addition to fifth year seniors Sara Ramos and Cara Silvas.
“I don’t think it’s sunk into them yet [that it’s their last home meet as an Aggie], and it’s a bit bittersweet for us even though we came away with the victory,” Jahn said.
After improving to a 4-2 dual meet record for the year, the Aggies look to make it three in a row as they take on University of the Pacific on Jan. 30 in Stockton, CA, before heading to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in mid-February and the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships in early March.
Written by Eric Portillo – firstname.lastname@example.org