As teams were wrapping up their winter training, UCSD, Grand Canyon University, Boise State, and San Diego State converged for a women’s quad, and a men’s dual (UCSD and GCU) at the Canyonview Aquatic Center in La Jolla, California on Saturday afternoon.
On the women’s side, San Diego State was the big winner, sweeping their competitors. That includes a 155-144 win over Boise State in a race that came down to the final relay. GCU beat UC-San Diego on the men’s side 158-104.
The margin for the Aztecs of San Diego State came largely in the relays. They took the top spot in both the 200 medley (1:43.17 to Boise State’s 1:43.82) and the 400 free relay (3:23.91 to Boise State’s 3:25.21) for the meet win. That was thanks in large part to freshman sprinter Anika Apostalon, who anchored their medley in a 22.75 and led off their free relay in a 50.26.
Apostalon wouldn’t see defeat the entire day. She topped Boise State’s stud freshman sprinter Brittany Aoyama in the 50 free by a margin of 23.02-23.80, and won the 100 back ahead of Boise’s Sam Wicks 54.96-56.78. Apostalon already sits 2nd on San Diego State’s all-time list in the 100 back halfway through her freshman season, and only she and two other Aztecs have ever been faster than even this mid-season, post-holiday-training time.
But with a score that close, there had to be some favors returned by Boise State. Among those were huge points in diving (1-2-3 on the 1-meter, 1-2-4 on the 3-meter), and a big win for Aoyama in the 100 fly. She swam a 54.69 to best San Diego State’s Loreen Whitfield, who was 2nd in 55.46.
This very young Boise St. team also looked strong in the longer freestyle races. Freshman Felicity Cann won the 200 free (1:49.54) and the 500 free (4:57.92). Blake Balogh, a Boise sophomore out of Lincoln, Nebraska, took the 1000 free in 10:20.08, beating SDSU’s Dana Michaels (10:24.14).
UCSD, who competes in the NCAA’s Division II, had some good swims from the likes of Anji Shakya, who took 2nd in the 200 free in 1:51.54. She ranks 2nd in Division II in that event this year, with that swim being about two seconds shy of her season’s best.
Grand Canyon, who is making the transition from Division II to Division I this season, dropped all three dual meets on the women’s side. They did have a bright spot from freshman Hannah Kastigar, however. She won the 200 fly in 2:03.10 for the Lopes’ lone victory on the day on the women’s side of the meet.
The men’s meet, however, was a different story for Grand Canyon, as they won 12 out of 14 events (diving was left unscored on the men’s side) to take the victory.
Among the biggest performers was Ukrainian Iegor Lytvenok, who had three individual wins on the day. He began by taking the 100 backstroke in 51.00, and followed that with wins in the 200 back (1:52.93) and 200 IM (1:52.70).
Ilya Glazunov also looked good for the Lopes in sweeping the sprint freestyles. He won the 50 in 20.60, and took the 100 in 45.81.
Grand Canyon’s NCAA Division II record holder in the 200 breaststroke graduated at the end of last season, which left them pretty thin in that particular specialty. UCSD, then, took the top three spots in the 200, led by Nick Korth in 2:03.60. His teammate AJ Zavala placed 2nd five seconds behind.
That swim from Korth reaffirmed his status as the early favorite to win this year’s NCAA Division II title.
Grand Canyon still got a win in the 100 yard race, that Korth didn’t swim, as Aslan Burbayev was a 57.83 to hit the pads first.
The only other win for UCSD came via a 1-2 finish in the men’s 1000 free. Sasha Mitrushina won in 9:44.33, and Kyle Nadler took 2nd in 9:54.65.