STOCKTON - UC Santa Cruz's swimming teams opened their 2019-20 regular season with stiff competition at the University of the Pacific Invite Friday and Saturday. On the women's side, UCSC faced the host Division I Tigers and Division II Fresno Pacific, while the men's competition added Pac-12 power Stanford University.
With Stanford winning the men's competition and UOP in the women's, the Banana Slugs focused on getting their young squad acclimated to college competition.
"This was our first meet, we've been training hard for about a month now and we are hitting the ground running," said junior Paul Ogle-Sporer. "We're all very excited to keep training hard and give it our all in future competition."
The Slugs opened on Friday with the 200 medley relays. In the women's 200, the A team of Elisabeth Lundgren, Kenya Lam and newcomers Emily Claridge and Isobel Blue finished fifth in an encouraging 1:53.72, just 4.6 seconds behind winners from Pacific.
The men's 200 A relay (Victor Sowa and freshmen Sanjay Srikanth, Joseph Guzman and Max Mueller) finished in 1:41.65, good for seventh place behind teams from Stanford, UOP and Fresno Pacific. Srikanth was also 7th in the 100 back in 55.48.
Freshmen continued to impress on Day Two. Ocelli Rivers-Alteri led UCSC finishing fifth in the women's 200 free in 1:59.93, and Aly Roberts placed sixth 0.58 seconds after her. Blue was sixth in her 50 free college debut. She finished in 25.62, one second behind the 1-2 duo from Fresno Pacific. Another highlight was Mueller was UCSC top swimmer in the men's 50 free, in 22.79.
The Banana Slugs' best finish Saturday was the women's 400 free relay, where the A team of Rivers-Alteri, Paris Sinclair, Lam and Blue were 3rd behind the two UOP teams in 3:46.56.
UCSC gets back in the pool next Friday when they host the Slug Shootout against Biola, Cal State East Bay, Mills and the College of Idaho.