May 28, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. - Junior Anna Senko and sophomore Noelle Tarazona made the Championship Final of the 200 Butterfly at last weekend's Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine. In addition, UCLA swimmers earned 15 spots in A Consolation Finals and junior Lauren Baker qualified for the World Championship Trials in the 800 and 1500 Freestyle.
"I was happy with how the team swam considering it is the first time in a meet environment since Pac-12's and NCAA's," head coach Cyndi Gallagher said. "It was a nice meet to start out for the season, and to have four lifetime bests and some athletes getting a lot of racing in was a bonus."
With only four swimmers qualifying for each Championship Final, the Bruins grabbed two of those spots in Sunday's 200 Butterfly. Tarazona was second after the Long Course preliminaries with a time of 2:15.38, while Senko was third at 2:15.39. Tarazona improved on her time in Sunday's Championship Final with a 2:13.33 to place second. Senko placed fourth with a time of 2:15.82.
The meet began on Friday with five Bruins qualifying for the A Consolation Finals in three separate events. Senko and Tarazona had a precursor to their outstanding Sunday performance by posting A Final showings in the 200 Individual Medley. Senko was seventh following the prelims with a time of 2:21.20 and Tarazona was 10th at 2:22.96. Both swimmers improved on their times and positions in the final, with Senko going 2:18.21 for sixth and Tarazona recording a 2:19.32 for eighth place.
In the 100 Breaststroke, sophomore Taylor Carlson was 11th in the preliminaries with a mark of 1:15.04 and finished 12th in the A Consolation Final with a time of 1:16.61. Sophomore Jessica Khojasteh made the B Consolation Final and had a time of 1:15.86 (17th). Three Bruins made the B Final in the 50 Freestyle. Junior Ting Quah was 13th (26.75), Carlson placed 16th (27.24) and sophomore Courtney Wilde was 18th (27.41).
In the 400 Freestyle, Baker and freshman Katy Campbell reached the A Final. Baker was ninth after the prelims with a 4:25.27 and improved three spots and three seconds, moving to sixth after a 4:22.09 final swim. Campbell was 11th in the prelims (4:25.58), placing 12th in the final (4:29.87).
On Saturday, five Bruins made A Finals, including Tarazona and Quah in two different events. In the 200 Freestyle, Quah was ninth in the prelims with a time of 2:06.83 and improved to fifth in the A Final with a mark of 2:03.29. Sophomore Monica Dornick was 13th in the B Final (2:05.78), while junior Kathryn Murphy was 18th (2:07.18).
In the 400 IM, Tarazona was eighth (5:02.40) in the prelims and moved up to seventh in the A Final with a time more than seven seconds better of 4:54.96. Freshman Arlyn Upshaw made the B Final and was 15th (5:04.08), shaving off more than five seconds from her prelim mark. Junior Jesse Bergman made the A Final in the 200 Backstroke, going 2:23.12 (10th) in the prelims and 2:24.81 (12th) in the final.
Four Bruins would make the A Final in the 100 Butterfly, led by Senko, who was fifth in both the prelims (1:02.98) and final (1:00.95). The other three Bruins also improved on their times from the preliminaries to the final. Tarazona was seventh in the final (1:02.25) after posting a 1:03.49 (9th) time in the prelims. Quah was eighth in the final (1:02.43) after finishing 11th in the prelims (1:03.52), while freshman Katie Kinnear was ninth (1:02.67) after going 1:03.37 (6th) in the prelims.
Baker, who qualified for Sunday's 800 Freestyle A Final a day earlier, went from 9:00.07 (4th) in the preliminaries to a career-best 8:48.70 in the final to qualify for the World Championship Trials.
In the 200 Breaststroke, junior Emily Weir was 20th with a B Final time of 2:44.72. Bergman made the B Final in the 100 Backstroke, placing 17th (1:07.30). Rounding out the meet, Quah and Carlson reached the A Final in the 100 Freestyle. Quah improved from 12th (58.25) to seventh (57.96) from the prelims to final, while Carlson moved from 13th (career-best 58.26) to 12th (58.92). Murphy was 14th in reaching the B Final with a time of 58.70.
The next meet the Bruins will be participating in are the World Championship Trials (June 25-29) in Indianapolis at the same pool as this year's NCAA Championships.