Aztecs Finish Second at Chick-Fil-A Invite – SDSU Athletics

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FRESNO, Calif. – Buoyed by two event titles and a runner-up relay finish, the San Diego State swimming and diving team wrapped up the Chick-Fil-A Invitational on Saturday with a second-place standing among seven competing teams.

The Aztecs surged into the second position with a two-day point-total of 794.33, trailing only UCLA’s tally of 962.83 points, while California (628.5) took third. Another Pac-12 squad landed in the fourth spot as Washington State racked up 423.5 points, while Mountain West members Fresno State (396.33), Colorado State (379) and San José State (337.5) rounded out the meet.

With the results, the Scarlet and Black has finished second in all six appearances at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational since 2016.

 

SDSU received a huge boost from the outset, as Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez emerged triumphant in the 1-meter diving event with a score of 275.95. The Aztecs also had three other divers finish among the top 10, including Summer Westmoreland (225.75) and Valentina Lopez Arevalo (224.00), who occupied the fifth and sixth spots, respectively, while Emma Duggan (204.55) was 10th.

Not to be outdone, Kristina Murphy was victorious in the 200 breaststroke with a winning time of 2:14.40, while Christiana Williams touched the wall at 2:20.29 to finish sixth, followed by Moa Bergdahl (2:20.76), who took eighth.

Later in the day, Murphy served as the anchor on SDSU’s 400 freestyle relay team that placed second with a time of 3:24.67, joining forces with Lyndsey Wehr, Jeannette King and Meredith Smithbaker.  In addition, the quartet of Evonne Stehr, Avery Turney, Riley Tapley and Emily Gebhardt landed in the seventh spot after clocking in at 3:30.93.

Earlier, SDSU began the Saturday session with a pair of top-five placements in the 400 medley relay, including the team of Alex Roberts, Bergdahl, Lizzie Menzmer and Wehr, who took third with a time of 3:47.44, while Mai McKenna combined with Smithbaker, Gebhardt and Avery Turney for a fifth-place result at 3:49.01.

Smithbaker was also the Aztecs top swimmer in the 100 freestyle after placing third with a time of 50.66, narrowly missing a personal-best by 0.56 seconds, while Turney was sixth in the event at 51.67.

Similarly, McKenna was SDSU’s fastest competitor in the 200 backstroke, where she finished fourth with a career-best clocking of 2:00.57, while Roberts (2:02.23) ended in the fifth spot ahead of Tapley (2:03.28), who took seventh.

Elsewhere, Wilma Johansson (2:05.75) and Gebhardt (2:06.89) gave the Aztecs a pair of top-10 results in the 200 butterfly, with the duo placing seventh and eighth, respectively, while Paige Mitchell posted a seventh-place swim of 17:53.92 in the 1,650 freestyle.

San Diego State returns to the pool in two weeks when it travels to the desert for a quad meet against Grand Canyon, Loyola Marymount and Seattle U, Oct. 21-22, in Phoenix, Arizona.

 


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