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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Cheung, Alvarez come up big as Aggies swim to MPSF title

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UCD senior Haley Porter — shown here at a meet last season — had a great championship meet to help the Aggies capture the MPSF title on Saturday night. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

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From page B1 | February 25, 2014 |

The celebration continued through Monday after the UC Davis women’s swimming and diving team pulled away late Saturday night for its third Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship in four years.

The Aggies finished with a total of 712.5 points on Saturday — the third-highest score in conference title meet history — to culminate four days of swimming competition at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park and three days of diving in Pasadena.

Then Monday, UCD’s total of 32 All-MPSF awards, including Hilvy Cheung’s honor for Freshman of the Year, were finalized.

That includes Liliana Alvarez, who won her second individual title of the championships with her victory in Saturday night’s 200 breaststroke. She, along with Cheung (100 and 200 butterfly), Haley Porter (50 and 100 freestyle) and Katie Edwards (200 individual medley and 200 free), each earned first-team all-conference honors in two events for the Aggies.

Alvarez doubled in both breaststroke distances at the MPSF Championships for the second time in her career, and won the 100 breaststroke for the fourth consecutive season — the first athlete in league history to do that in the same event.

Other UCD first-team honorees included Lexy Troup (200 free), Samantha Shellem (200 free), Marissa Brown (1,650 free) and diver Audrey DeNeffe on the platform.

Alvarez set a pool record with her winning 2:12.84 in the 200 breast, lowering her NCAA B standard by more than half a second. In Friday’s 100 breast, she touched in 1:00.89 to win by almost a full second and best the B standard for the third time this year.

Aggie Maya Sprinsock joined Alvarez in the championship finals of the 200 breast on Saturday, finishing eighth, while Elise Roberts, Caroline Weston and Hailey Ferko all gained points for UCD in the consolation final.

Cheung finished second in Saturday’s 200 fly (1:56.14), joining MPSF Swimmer of the Year Andrea Ward (UC Santa Barbara) in breaking the meet record of 1:57.27. Cheung’s time lowered her school record in the event by more than a second, one day after she broke an 8-year-old Aggie benchmark in the 100 fly by more than a second with her 53.19.

On Saturday, UCD placed three swimmers in the championship final of the 1,650 free, led by Brown, who finished third in 16:45.04. Aggie Kirsten Brand was fifth, Troup took sixth and Cara Silvas touched in 11th.

Porter finished second in the 100 free — her 50.02 was the third-fastest time in school history — but just missed a B standard. Edwards finished sixth.

UCD got points from its 400 free relay quartet of Shellem, Sabrina Cochrane, Brand and Edwards, which finished fourth (3:23.91).

Earlier in the day at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, DeNeffe gained valuable points on the platform, taking third (203.80) to pace a group of four Aggie scorers. Lucy Lafranchise was 10th, Hanna Tears finished 13th  and Jennifer Meyer was 14th. A day earlier, all four UCD divers were in the consolation final of the 3-meter competition, with DeNeffe winning.

Other Aggie highlights from Friday came in the 200 free, where Edwards was second, Shellem took third and Porter was fifth.

On Thursday, Edwards posted a B standard of 2:01.04 in the 200 IM and four UCD swimmers — Troup (third), Brown (fourth), Shellem (fifth) and Brand (seventh) — were in the championship race of the 500 free.

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