Freshman Liu Wins Double In UCLA Victory Over Arizona

ARIZONA VS. UCLA

  • Results
  • Hosted by University of California Los Angeles
  • Friday, November 4th
  • 25 yards
  • Dual meet format

FINAL TEAM SCORES

  • UCLA: 155.5
  • Arizona: 144.5

The UCLA women picked up a home meet victory in a nail-biter against the Arizona Wildcats on Friday. The Bruins made a late comeback to set the final score at 155.5 to 144.5.

Freshman Kenisha Liu came up big for the Bruins, winning multiple individual events to help the team to victory. Liu picked up her first victory in the 200 free, where she was the only swimmer under 1:50 with her winning time of 1:49.67. She then made a back half surge on the final 50 of the 200 IM to close the meet with another victory in 2:01.45.

UCLA school record holder Linnea Mack charged to a 100 free victory for the Bruins, posting a 50.19 to out-touch Zona’s Katrina Konopka (50.23). Konopka won the 50 free earlier in the session with her 23.23.

Arizona All-American Annie Ochitwa was a multiple event winner for the Wildcats. Her first win came in the 100 back, where she held off a late charge from UCLA’s Mack to win in 53.83 to Mack’s 53.88. She followed that up with a 54.22 to lead an Arizona sweep of the 100 fly ahead of teammates Taylor Garcia (54.63) and Mackenzie Rumrill (55.13).

PRESS RELEASE – UCLA:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – After trailing the Wildcats at the first break, the Bruins rallied to win seven of the nine remaining events to close out the Pac-12 showdown with a 155.5-144.5 victory.  With the win, UCLA improves to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 competition.

UCLA’s freshmen dominated the pool on Friday.  Kenisha Liu nabbed UCLA’s first victory of the meet.  The Bruin swam a 1:49.67 in the 200 Free to edge Arizona’s Emma McCarthy by less than a second.  In the 200 Fly, Amy Okada recorded a 2:01.42 to finish ahead of fellow Bruins Katie Grover and Marie-Pierre Delisle in second and third, respectively.

Despite a strong start from the Bruin newcomers, Arizona swam the top times in the 200 Medley Relay, 1000 Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast, and 50 Free.  Through seven events, the Cats led the Bruins 83-67.

UCLA went on to win five straight events.  The Bruins swept the 3-meter diving event, led by sophomore Eloise Belanger.  The Bruin qualified for NCAA Zones with a first-place score of 306.00.  Ciara Monahan and Annika Lenz finished second and third, respectively.

Back between the lane lines, Linnea Mack edged Arizona’s Katrina Konopka by .04 seconds to finish first in the 100 Free, while Madison White swam an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:58.15 to top the competition in the 200 Back.

The Bruins then went 1-2-3 in the 200 Breast, led by Emma Schanz‘ 2:18.09.  Sarah Kaunitz swam the second-best time (2:19.25), followed by Brigitte Winkler with a 2:20.31.  UCLA also went 1-2-3 in the 500 Free.  Michaela Merlihan led the pack with a 4:54.35, followed by Katy Campbell (4:55.47) and Lisa Kaunitz (4:56.24).

With just two swimming events remaining, the Bruins had pulled ahead of the Wildcats, 125-120.

In the last individual event of the day, Liu swam an NCAA B qualifying time to finish first in the 200 IM and to extend UCLA’s lead to 137-127.

The Wildcats made a final push, however, posting the top time in the 200 Free Relay.  At the conclusion of the swimming events, UCLA led Arizona by one point.  The meet would be decided by the 1-meter diving event.

Sealing the deal for the Bruins, Belanger posted a 312.53 to sweep the diving events and to give UCLA a 155.5-144.5 advantage over Arizona.  Lenz finished second in the 1-meter with a 275.33, while Monahan tied for fourth (262.43).  Both Belanger and Lenz qualified for NCAA Zones with their scores.

Next up, the Bruins host the Sun Devils on Saturday for another Pac-12 contest.  The meet begins at 11 a.m. PT at Spieker Aquatics Center.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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