San Diego State kicked off a busy weekend with dominating wins at a triple dual against Vanderbilt, Arkansas-Little Rock and Campbell, led by a double from budding star Anika Apostalon and some big swims from a pair of butterflyers.
Apostalon, an All-American last season as a freshman, continued to show why she’s one of the most feared swimmers in the mid-major conferences, picking up two bruising wins in the 100 back and 100 free.
Apostalon got her first win the 100 back, going 55.23 to blow away the field by three seconds. Apostalon is the defending Mountain West champ in that event and the reigning conference record-holder.
The sophomore returned to win the 100 free in 50.00, leading a 1-2-3 charge of Aztecs. Second in that race was Whitney Weisz, whom we profiled earlier today – she came back from brain surgery to score at last year’s NCAA championships less than a year after her surgery.
SDSU also got some impressive swims from a pair of butterflyers – freshman Summer Harrison went 55.61 to pick up the win, with senior teammate Loreen Whitfield second in 55.79. That’s a duo that should make a formidable threat to opponents this season. Harrison, who comes out of Hawaii, was just eight tenths off her season best in the swim, while Whitfield, a conference finalist last year, got within two seconds of her PR.
Natilee Ruiz also got two wins for the Aztecs. The junior was 1:50.98 to pace the 200 free, then won the 200 back at 2:02.27.
Host Vanderbilt had a double winner of its own. Senior Elly Faulkner had to wait a long time to get into action, but in her first individual swim (10 events into the meet), Faulkner broke through for a win in the 200 breast. Her 2:19.82 won easily. After that long early layoff, Faulkner came back just two events later to take the 200 IM in 2:06.60, leading a 1-2 finish with teammate Kara Lucenti.
The Commodores swept the breaststroke events, with Kathryn Coughlin winning the 100 in 1:04.54 to add to Faulkner’s 200 win.
Both SDSU and Vanderbilt went 1-2 in a relay. The Aztecs started off the meet by 1-2ing the 200 medley relay. The “A” team went 1:43.76, buoyed by a big 15.92 leadoff from Apostalon and also getting a 24.82 from Whitfield on fly. The SDSU “B” relay was 1:44.14 for second.
Then in the 400 free relay to close the meet, Vanderbilt went 1-2 as SDSU’s top team was disqualified. The Commodores went 3:31.56 to win easily, with Summer Brown leading the splits at 52.43. The B squad was 3:36.31 for second place, with anchor Carrie Bencic going 52.88.
Bencic also got an individual win, showing off her endurance to complement her relay speed. Bencic was 5:02.20 to win the 500 free, topping San Diego’s Dana Michaels, who won the 1000 free to open the meet in 10:20.77.
Other event winners were Chelsea Bailey of San Diego State in the 50 free (23.54) and her teammate Frida Berggren in the 200 fly (2:03.67).
Campbell got its biggest points from junior Lily Tang, who swam three individual events. Tang was 3rd overall in the 100 back, going 58.61, and added another 3rd-place finish in the 200 IM with a 2:11.36. In between, Tang was 4th in the 200 back (2:05.77).
Little Rock’s top finisher was Nuria Gallego Murcia, the team’s Spanish freshman. Murcia was 7th in both breaststrokes, going 1:09.65 and 2:19.97. She also added a 2:25.41 swim in the 200 IM to take 9th overall.
Full results available on Meet Mobile under “VU-SDSU-UALR-CU.” Team scores aren’t available at this time.