Friday, April 17, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

UCD swimmers and divers hope to double up at MPSF finals

UCD senior Bridget Bugbee is one of three Aggies who were members of the 2010 MPSF championship squad. They will be looked to for leadership as UCD heads to the conference meet this week. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

By
From page B1 | February 19, 2013 |

Despite the many strengths exhibited by the UC Davis women’s swimming and diving squad in 2012-13, all bets are off when the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships get under way Wednesday.

That’s because there are some variables working against the Aggies: the confident composure expected of reigning champions, the nerves of young would-be champions and the ever-changing criteria used by diving judges.

But UCD has one thing it can rely on: “a whole lot of depth,” said Aggie head coach Barbara Jahn.

“We may not get a whole lot of first places, but in a championship format like this — if you’ve got five or six people who are scoring substantially — it’s the depth that’s going to make it or break it,” she added.

The 2012-13 campaign was certainly a convincing display of depth by the locals, who dominated eight straight opponents to finish at 8-2 in dual meets. UCD was eighth in the most recent CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Rankings.

But the true evaluation begins Wednesday as the four-day MPSF meet opens at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park. There, the Aggies will attempt to reclaim the conference title they last received in 2009-10.

The venue is familiar to UCD’s swimmers, as it was the battleground for last season’s conference showdown. The Aggies recorded 546 points, solidifying a third-place finish behind champion BYU and runner-up UC Santa Barbara.

The same two rivals that bested UCD at last season’s meet are expected to once more pose a threat to the locals’ championship aspirations. Jahn said she is also cautious of the ability of Hawaii, a newcomer to the conference pool.

But the Aggies are bolstered by seniors Morgan Lee, Grace Benefield and Bridget Bugbee. The experienced swimmers assisted the MPSF title grab in 2009-10, and have a final opportunity to bring home another win.

“We’ve got a lot of veterans on the team,” said Jahn, who has been at the UCD helm for four decades. “They know what the conference championships feel like, they know what they need to do to get ready for it.”

The cast of Aggies has mostly been altered since the times of previous conference glory. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing as junior standouts Liliana Alvarez, Samantha Shellem and Hilary Hunt should make a splash this week.

Shellem received MPSF Athlete of the Week honors three times in 2012-13 and broke the UCD record in the 500 freestyle earlier this season.

While Jahn is predicting a few first-place finishes, it’s a communal effort that she hopes will pave the way to victory. The Aggies have declared top eight finishes in every event as the primary objective.

“It’s not unachievable, but they have to be relaxed, and have the confidence that they’ve trained well,” Jahn said. “It’s out of your hands, honestly, what you can do is only what’s in your lane. How others do, you have no control over.

That’s what is so nice about swimming, is that you can achieve a huge amount of success — break personal records — and still finish in 16th place.”

In addition to the swimmers, UCD is sending four divers to a separate conference meet — beginning Thursday — at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. These local women will be up against uncertain odds, according to Jahn.

“It’s unpredictable, because the scoring is so subjective,” she explained. “All schools are represented on the judging panel, but beyond that, there’s typically politics involved. Some judges are more partial to certain types of divers.”

For the Aggies, the wager is on a freshman trio — Lucy Lafranchise, Audrey DeNeffe and Hanna Tears — and sophomore Shannon Stewart.

As much a gamble as it may seem to have such young athletes filling the essential roles, Jahn says that experience is not a principal concern.

“For them, it’s just going to be handling the pressure,” she said. “We’ve sent them to two meets where they had the opportunity to see Division I, nationally competitive divers. They’ve seen what it takes. We’ve prepared them.”

The UCD divers, like the swimmers, head into their events with confidence reinforced by a month’s worth of training — adapting to a challenge in which there’s no such thing as beginner’s luck.

“The team has done a great job getting ready for this meet, now it’s just a matter of finding out,” Jahn said. “I hope that we get a good payday there.”

At the MPSF meets, Aggie swimmers and divers will have a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships, set for March 21 in Indianapolis.

— Reach Brett Johnson at [email protected] or 530-747-8052.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Psychedelic rock posters recall 1960s concerts

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UCD study: Crickets not enough to feed the world just yet

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1

    It’ll be a perfect day for a picnic — and lots more

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Turning a mess into olive oil success

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    UCD expands emergency notification service

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A2

     
    California vaccine bill stalls; will come back next week

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Cities: California water reduction order unrealistic, unfair

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Chasing criminals and water-wasters

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Enjoy a chemistry bang on Picnic Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Start your Picnic Day with pancakes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Local students to perform at fundraising concert

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    CA House hosts crepe breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Doxie Derby crowns the winning wiener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Fundraiser benefits Ugandan women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    See pups at Picnic Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Davis poet will read his work at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

     
    Rotary Club hosts whisky tasting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Ribs and Rotary benefits local charities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dodd plans fundraising barbecue in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Soroptimists set date for golf tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Socks collected for homeless veterans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Council will present environmental awards Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Invention and upcycling to be honored at Square Tomatoes Fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Take a peek at Putah Creek on daylong tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Pence Gallery Garden Tour tickets on sale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    UC Davis Circle K Club wins awards at district convention

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Davis authors featured at writing conference in Stockton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Sign up soon for Davis history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Campus firearms bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Emerson featured at photography program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Portuguese influence in Yolo County detailed

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Concert and dance party celebrate KDRT’s 10 years on the air

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Survival skills to be taught at preserve

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    The new one puts her foot down

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

    It’s time to fight for California’s jobs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Future leaders give back

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Know where your gift is going

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Pipeline veto a good move

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Artists offer heartfelt thanks

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    .

    Sports

    DHS boys drop another Delta League match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie women ready to host (win?) Big West golf tourney

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    New strength coach hopes to stem UCD football injury tide

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Herd has too much for Devil softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Les, AD Gould talk about the Aggie coach’s future

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Quintet of Aggie gymnasts honored for academics

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    River Cats fall to Las Vegas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    Diamondbacks defeat Giants in 12 innings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    DSF kicks off 10th anniversary celebration at the carousel

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    Many summer enrichment opportunities available for students

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

    .

    Arts

    ‘True Story:’ In their dreams

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    ‘Once’ an unforgetable celebration of music, relationships

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Honda shows off new Civic at New York show

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Robert Leigh Cordrey

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 17, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B10