Special to the Daily Sundial
The UC Irvine Anteaters beat the Cal State Northridge Men’s and Women’s Swim team at the Anteater Aquatics Complex Feb.4 in Irvine. The Matador women’s team fell 182-97, while the Matador men’s swim team lost to UCI 164.5-109.5.
The meet started off with Irvine’s senior recognition ceremony. Every team has one on its last home meet of the season to praise the senior athletes that will not be returning next year. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the meet began with the 200- yard Medley relay which UCI took first place for both the men and women.
To our surprise, we broke the men’s 200-yard Medley Relay meet record, but did not get to keep it due to the loss to Irvine in that event.
Following was the 1000- yard Freestyle, 200-yard Freestyle, and the 100-yard Backstroke, which was dominated by the Anteaters on both the men’s and women’s side.
Then came the 100-yard Breaststroke, which was the first event the Matadors Men’s team won, thanks to freshman Clark Henson’s time of 59.30.
When I spoke to Henson afterwards, he said that he was really nervous going into the race, but was ready for it.
“I didn’t even think about winning until the last 25 yards of the race when I realized I was in the lead,” Henson said.
Henson’s victory was quickly followed by another CSUN win, this time junior Mel Cuppitt won the Women’s 200-yard Butterfly with a time of 2:08.92.
I asked my teammate what she was thinking during the race and to my shock she replied, “Brian was eating dry oatmeal before I swam.”
I thought this was a little random, but it goes to show that keeping your mind off your race can sometimes benefit in the end.
After the 200-yard Fly, UCI went on another winning streak through the 50-yard Freestyle, 100-yard Freestyle, 200-yard Backstroke, and the women’s 200-yard Breaststroke.
Henson, however, was not going to let the Anteaters beat him in his next event. After winning the 100 Breast, he had the confidence to build his 200-yard Breaststroke and achieve a winning time of 2:10.12. He narrowly out-touched our men’s captain, senior Charles Frank, who placed second in the race with a time of 2:10.95.
As soon as our men’s team won an event, the women’s team was right there in the next event to take a first-place win. Senior Lindsay Love shattered the competition by eleven seconds while winning the 500-yard Freestyle in 5:11.60.
“I was so angry after losing the 200 Free; I decided to do a complete strategy change,” Love said. “I was determined to win the 500. I knew it was going to be my last dual meet of my life so I had to give everything I had left.”
After her win, the men’s team lost the 500-yard Freestyle, and both men’s and women’s lost the 100-yard Butterfly.
The rest of the meet, however, was swept by the Matadors. CSUN took first, second, and third in both the men’s and women’s 400-yard Individual Medley. Cuppit won the race for the girls with a time of 4:41.85, and senior Eric Ramirez won it for the men in 4:14.58.
The final event of the meet was the 200-yard Freestyle Relay. The women took first, second and third place points with a winning time of 1:43.78. The men took first through fourth place points, with a winning time of 1:26.01.
After winning the race, junior Chris Goodwin, CSUN’s lead-off swimmer in the relay shouted, “We’re going to break that record at conference.”
Even though the Matadors lost the swim meet, assistant coach Megan Henry told the team, “Irvine is the most competitive team we race against and if you max out your potential at conference, you will turn the other teams’ heads.”
Head coach Barry Schreifels said at the conclusion of the meet, “Our team was not rested for this meet. We are ready for our championships, though. When we rest, we swim fast. That’s our CSUN swim team.”
The Matadors swim teams will end their seasons with the conference meet at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach Feb. 15-18.
Jeff Hart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.