UC Davis finishes third at conference championships

The UC Davis women’s swimming and diving team traveled to compete in the 2012 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Swimming and Diving Championships held on the campus of East Los Angeles College. After four days of competition, the Aggies finished in third place with 546 points only behind BYU and UC Santa Barbara, each totaling 732 and 699 points, respectively.

The star of the weekend was senior Kayleigh Foley, who had had a strong showing through all four days of the competition.

She won the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, and was also part of the unit that secured the 400-yard freestyle relay. During her 200-yard freestyle victory, Foley set the new school record with a time of 1:47.29.

Sophomore Katie Edwards, who finished in second, also would have broken the school record in the same race had Foley not set the new time to beat.

“To me, I thought [Foley] should have won athlete of the year,” said coach Barbara Jahn. “She is so strong and powerful and has such a sheer determination. I have a lot of confidence in her and she is going to be hard to replace.”

The first day of competition ended with the Aggies in second place after two second-place finishes in 800-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard medley relay. Both times were NCAA “B” consideration standard, signifying their eligibility in that event for the Division I NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held in Auburn, Ala.

On Thursday, Edwards set her lifetime best in the 200-yard IM while teammates Jenah Dawson, Sara Ramos, and Sabrina Cochrane all set season-best times as well. The divers also took part in competition at U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where junior Jennifer Meyer finished in first for the 3-meter consolation finals with a score of 224.5. However, with all the success, the Aggies dropped down to third place after the second day of competition.

On the third day of competition, sophomore Liliana Alvarez won the 100-yard breaststroke.

The team dropped to fourth place behind BYU, UCSB, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo due to a few errors, including a disqualification in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“There were a couple miscues, but I like to focus on the positives,” Jahn said. “A lot of swimmers set their personal bests and it was really just a strong team effort.”

The competition was a tight one all the way until the end as the Aggies were in a close race with Cal Poly for third place.

The event put an end to a successful season under Jahn, and the coach now looks toward the future.

“Our team has more freshmen and sophomores than juniors and seniors, so hopefully the younger swimmers will gain maturity and become stronger,” Jahn said.

JASON MIN can be reaches at sports@theaggie.org.

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