Late last week, national polls had the UC Davis women’s swimming team ranked eighth among mid-majors and 35th in the country.
Then — in a pair of dominating dual-meet victories on Saturday and Sunday — the Aggies went out and showed why.
A day after speeding past Pacific 182-80 in Stockton, UCD went to Bakersfield, was joined by its outstanding diving squad and outscored the Roadrunners, 202-08, winning 13 of 16 events.
In improving to 7-0 in duals, seven different Aggies took home individual titles in Bakersfield.
After capturing three individual victories and a relay win at Pacific, freshman Hilvy Cheung picked up right where she left off on Sunday, taking home three more victories in the 100 backstroke (57.01) and the 200 (2:07.05), and 100 butterfly (55.75) events. Cheung also kicked off the day by swimming the third leg of UCD’s victorious 200 medley relay team, where she teamed with Hilary Hunt, Liliana Alvarez and Haley Porter to touch in 1:45.56 and beat the runner-up quartet by more than three seconds.
Cheung was one of four multiple event winners for the Aggies on the day as Alvarez, diver Lucy Lafranchise and Marissa Brown each took home a pair of wins. Alvarez swept both distances in the breaststroke, winning the 100 in 1:05.86 and taking first place in the 200 with a time of 2:22.91.
Alvarez has captured the two breast events in each of the past three dual meets — and five of six overall this season — dating back to a win over Fresno State on Jan. 11.
Brown took home top honors in the 500 freestyle (5:01.91) and the 400 individual medley (4:33.22) to lead a 1-2-3 UCD sweep of the podium in each event. Lafranchise added diving wins on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, scoring a 246.85 to just edge out Western Athletic Conference Diver of the Week Carlee Burks (245.05) on the low board. Lafranchise posted a season-high 253.80 on the high board as the Aggies swept the top three spots, a feat they also accomplished in the 200 breast (Alvarez, Elise Roberts and Caroline Weston).
Samantha Shellem, making her season debut in the 1,000 free (10:22.94), and Sabrina Cochrane, who went 2:06.86 in the 200 back, also posted wins for UCD.
On Saturday, the Aggies touched first in 11 of the 14 events to beat the Tigers, behind Cheung’s big day. The freshman’s wins came in the 100 fly (55.90), 200 fly (2:00.93), and 200 IM (2:05.41), along with the 200 medley relay, where UCD swam a 1:45.09.
Other individual victories came from Alvarez (100 and 200 breast), Brown (1,000 free), Shellem (200 free), Hunt (100 back) and Porter (100 free), who also swam the opening leg of the Aggies’ winning 400 free relay team.
UCD posted a quartet of 1-2-3 finishes as swimmers like Hailey Ferko, Lexy Troup, Sam Rados, Lauren Damien and Katie Edwards contributed points to the Aggie cause.
Next up, the locals host Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rivals UC Santa Barbara (Friday) and Loyola Marymount (Sunday) in their final dual meets of the regular season.