Smooth sailing

By By Tony Pizza

By Tony Pizza

In an odd bit of coincidence, the men and women of the U’s swimming and diving team came away with identical 170-90 victories over their respective UC San Diego counterparts on Saturday.

With the pair of wins, both portions of the team moved to 2-0 on the season. The coincidences do not end with the team’s identical scores in the victory, however, because both teams won in surprisingly similar fashions.

The men continued to get strong performances out of seniors Andrew Cole and David Maasberg. Cole continued his dominance in the backstroke events, and Maasberg also took top honors in the freestyle sprints-the 50- and 100-yard races-for the second time in as many weeks.

Current Mountain West Swimmer of the Week Adam Oliver also continued to be the backbone in the long distance events. Oliver posted a time of 9:37.50 in the 1000 freestyle-10 seconds faster than his swim against Denver. Oliver finished more than a minute faster than any UCSD male, and Rachael Curci and Karly Roberts both finished the 1000 free in faster times than any UCSD swimmer as well.

In fact, in nearly every race, the only competition the U swimmers got was from their own teammates. Both portions of the swimming and diving team failed to finish first in only one event. More than half of the events saw the Utes finish at least 1-2, with six of those events being clean sweeps for the Utes.

“It was a great day of racing for us,” U head coach Mike Litzinger said. “We are excited about our performance and look to keep on track heading into the meet with UNLV next week.”

The women also saw plenty of top finishes by its upperclassmen. The Fabulous Four-Rachael Curci, Ali McInturff, Amber Walter and Adrienne Coburn-all finished first in two individual events. McInturff and Walter also helped lead the Utes’ A-teams to wins in both the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay events.

Two of the women’s young backstrokers also played a big part in the women’s victory. Shannon McQueen placed first in the 100 backstroke and helped Utah’s A-team finish first in the 200 medley relay.

Freshman Beth Gunderson continued to show why her teammates and coaches feel she is going to make an immediate impact all season long. Gunderson finished first in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:07.76, which was just fractions of a second faster than captain Marissa Martin.

Gunderson was strong in the 100 backstroke and the 200 IM, where she finished a close second to her Ute teammates.

The diving section of the team also had a strong performance this week.

Last year’s Mountain West Female Diver of the Year, Kelsey Patterson, continued to dive solidly for the Utes. She finished comfortably in first place in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives against the Tritons.

Ute diver Anna Braszkiewicz finished as the runner-up in both events, with an exceptionally strong showing on the 3-meter board.

On the men’s side, U diver Andy Jones swept the top spot in both diving events. Although Jones comfortably took home first place on the 1-meter board, he was challenged by teammate Damian Brown on the 3-meter board, as Brown was within a point and a half of Jones’ score of 265.75.

The Utes will embark on their first MWC meet of the season when they take on UNLV next week. UNLV will provide much stiffer competition than the Utes’ two warm-up meets, as UNLV is ranked second and third on the men’s and women’s side respectively this year.