SDSU dives into season with pentathlon victory over USD


David Pradel

Sophomore swimmer Larisa Tam competes in the 100-yard IM event during the Aztecs’ first meet of the season against University of San Diego on Sept. 14 at the Aztec Aquaplex.

by Kyle Betz, Staff Writer

San Diego State swimming and diving opened its 2018-19 season with a 33-24 win over the University of San Diego on Sept. 14 at Aztec Aquaplex.

SDSU finished with the top seven individual spots of the annual pentathlon, with junior swimmer McKenna Meyer finishing in first place with a time of 4:54.93, junior swimmer Courtney Vincent finishing second with a time of 4:58.86 and freshman swimmer Kristina Murphy finishing in third with a time of 4:59.16.

Head coach Mike Shrader said the team showed good enthusiasm and effort in the team’s inaugural meet.

“We had a lot of good enthusiasm, we had good attitude, and I’m really proud of the way we started today,” Shrader said.

SDSU was captained by junior swimmers Meyer, Vincent, Alma Thormalm and Kassidy Henson.

Shrader said although the captains competed in races they do not specialize in, each made a strong showing.

“I’m proud of the way our captains competed today. I think they just did an outstanding job,” he said. “Each race is a very unique race. They swam a race today that they won’t swim again.”

Vincent won the 100-yard fly (55.92), 100 yard IM (58.34), and 50-yard fly (25.37), and said that winning the first meet of the season generates momentum for the rest of the year.

“It kind of builds momentum for the rest of the season and helps our mentality if we start out good,” Vincent said.

Meyer, who won the 400 yard IM (4:31.42) and finished second in the 100 yard IM (58.88), said there was nervousness before the meet began, but the team felt comfortable following the first race.

“I think everyone was a little nervous because you never know what to expect in the first meet,” Meyer said. “We got our nerves out the first race and we were able to do pretty well the rest of the meet.”

Meyer said that the team can build off the win by sticking to its main goal: having fun.

“This year we’re just trying to say, ‘Let’s have fun.’ We’re just going to make sure that’s our main priority,” Meyer said. “If we win, we win, but we want to make sure we’re enjoying the process.”

The Aztecs had 13 freshman swimmers participating in the meet, including Murphy, Maude Boily-Dufour (5:09.81) and Mia Ryan (5:13.10), each of whom finished in the top nine spots.

Shrader said the team went into the meet fatigued due to weight room training, swim practice and spin class, but his expectations were met.

“They’re really sore, really tired right now, which is kind of part of the deal, but they went out there and did their absolute best,” he said. “Attitude and effort are my two big things, and we did good on both those today.”

SDSU’s next competition will be a dual meet against Washington State and Nevada on Sept. 21 at the Aztec Aquaplex.