June 4, 2012
The UCLA Swim team competed in Irvine at the Speedo Grand Challenge the last weekend in May. The three-day/six session swim meet consisted of both national and international swimmers competeing at the national and Olympic level. The UCLA team completed a tough swim meet with 12 lifetime-best swims and 16 season-best swims.
On Friday, the Bruin swimmers started off the competition with the 200m IM, the 100m breaststroke and the 50m freestyle. After impressive morning swims, the Bruins had an even more impressive finals session during the 200m IM. Karoline Sanderud finished sixth with a lifetime-best of 2:18.12, Noelle Tarazona finished behind her in seventh with a 2:19.34, Anna Senko finished close behind her in eighth with a 2:19.43 and Andrea Reigel finished in 13th, swimming a lifetime-best of 2:17.68. Freshman breaststroker Allison Gargalakis ended up 12th in the 100m breaststroke with a 1:13.35. Cynthia Fascella sprinted her way to a sixth-place finish in the 50m free with a season best time of 26.68. Lauren Baker closed out the day with a 17th-place finish in the 400m freestyle, swimming a season-best of 4:22.99.
With one day of competition under their belts, the Bruin Swimmers headed into the second day of the meet excited and determined to swim fast. Saturday's event line-up had the 200m freestyle, the 400m IM, the 100m butterfly and the 200m backstroke. Ting Quah and Reigel started off Saturday evening with solid swims in the 200m Freestyle. Quah ended up 12th with a time of 2:05.6 and Reigel ended up 13th with a 2:04.61. Sanderud followed those swims with an inspiring sixth-place finish in the 400m IM at 4:50.4. The Bruin fly group followed Sanderud's incredible performance by having five swimmers in the top 20 of the 100m butterfly. Bianca Casiari led the way in third-place (1:00.45) followed by Anna Senko in fifth (1:01.06), Emily Andelson in seventh (1:02. 49), Stephanie Christofferson in 12th (1:03.56) and Molly Fitzgerald in 19th (1:05.42). The Bruins finished the session with the 200m backstroke where Reigel competed in her third final of the meet placing ninth with a time of 2:19.79. Jesse Bergman finished close behind her in 13th with a 2:20.78.
After two days of intense competition, the Bruins showed off their Bruin Pride by finishing day three with solid and exciting swims. The line-up for the final day of competition included the 200m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 200m butterfly and the 100m Freestyle. Senko, Bergman and Reigel returned to pool for their final events of the night. Senko (1:05.29) and Bergman (1:05.51) ended up 14th and 16th, respectively. Reigel (1:04.67) finished her fourth final of the swim meet with a seventh-place finish. Casiari and Tarazona completed their events with a fourth-place finish for Casiari (2:12.33) and a fifth-place finish for Tarazona (2:12.33). The last event of the meet was the exciting 100m Freestyle where Fascella ranked eighth with a time of 57.50 and Courtney Wilde was 19th with a 59.48.
This past weekend, many Bruins were in action at the Santa Clara International meet including Courtney Wilde, Quah, Laurence Delisle, Bergman, Taylor Carlson, Baker, Kathryn Murphy, Christofferson and Jessica Khojasteh.
The UCLA Bruin Swimmers return to Westwood to continue training as they prepare for the upcoming USA Swimming Olympic Trials, which take place June 25-30.