Cal and Cal Poly aren’t the only Sunshine state teams that use a pentathlon to start their seasons. This past weekend, San Diego State and the University of San Diego put their own spin on the event to include the following five races: the 100 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 100 breast and the 200 IM. This is just a little different from the Cal vs. Cal Poly pentathlon, where the Mustangs and Bears swam the 100 IM instead of the 200 IM.
San Diego State won eight out of the top ten individual spots and beat USD 18-6. All top 5 places overall were snagged by SDSU swimmers along with total times respectively: Frida Berggren (6:10.88), Chelsea Baily (6:12.43), Anika Apostalon (6:12.63), Mikaela Macklin (6:15.80) and Natilee Ruiz (6:16.61).
The Aztecs were headlined by freshman Frida Berggren, freestyler and IMer from Vastera, Sweden. Her first place finishes in the 100 fly (58.08) and 200 IM (2:08.99), second place finish in the 100 breast (1:09.40) and both fifth place finishes in the 100 back (1:00.90) and 100 free (53.51) were enough to prove early on this season that she is a force to be reckoned with. Her Colorado training brought her to the United States from Sweden not long ago and set her up for a versatile and successful college career.
SDSU freshman Anika Apostalon cranked out an impressive 51.31 in her 100 freestyle while her 100 back was another first place for SDSU and only one of two times to break the minute mark in this event (57.28).
San Diego State did not score at the 2013 NCAA Championships, but they did get a big leg up when they qualified both a 200 medley and a 400 free relay for the NCAA Championships, They graduated two of the four swimmers on each of those relays, but return Chelsea Bailey, who was 2nd in the Pentathlon, and Whitney Weiz.
The Aztecs could be on their way back to NCAA’s, though, if their impressive freshmen continue to excel. Apostalon’s freestyle time is seven-tenths of a second faster than anybody on this team swam at the same event last year, and between her and Wisconsin transfer Maddy Dalcamo, who was a 49.8 last year and started her season with a 53.1 in this meet, they’ve still got at least six very capable swimmers to fight for spots on an NCAA-worthy 400 free relay. As a sign of progress, most of the returning San Diego State swimmers were as good, or better, in their 100 freestyles at this meet.
As for their opponents and cross-town rivals, Division I University of San Diego, they are making some good progress as a program as well. Their sprinters didn’t look quite as good opening as they did last year, with Keenan Lineback taking 6th overall and Taylor Noonan 8th, San Diego had two more swimmers in the top 10 of this meet than in 2012.
The SDSU regular season will continue in Stockton, California for the Pacific Invitational on October 18th-19th. The USD regular season will continue at their home pool against UCLA on October 19th.