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Diamond Leads Cal Poly Women's Swimming at A3; Men in 3rd After Day 1

Diamond Leads Cal Poly Women's Swimming at A3; Men in 3rd After Day 1

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Cal Poly sophomore Bonnie Diamond was the runner-up in the women's 500-yard freestyle race Thursday evening at the A3 Performance Invitational, highlighting several impressive swims for the Mustangs on the first day of the regional meet at ELAC Stadium.

Diamond started the day with a second-place qualification through the prelims, clocking a time of 4 minutes, 53.01 seconds, and then came back in the championship final to again touch the wall second, bettering her performance to 4:52.97.

Diamond's time, which tallied 28 points in the team standings, easily ranks No. 1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and moved her up from No. 4 to 3 in school history. She trailed only San Jose State senior Riley Spitser, whose winning 4:46.64 was a provisional NCAA Championships-qualifier.

Mustang teammate Meghan Merlihan, a freshman, also earned a second swim in the 500 free, ultimately winning the consolation final at 4:56.41.

The men's 500 free also featured a standout Cal Poly result, as fellow sophomore Nolan Newland came in third place (for 27 points), at 4:22.29 (second-best in program history and also No. 1 throughout the conference).

Cal Poly senior Alan Peterson (at 4:31.27 in the prelims) and sophomore Pearu Pold (in 4:28.09 to win the bonus final) also fared especially well in the 500 free.

Also on the men's side, sophomore Zach Cootes won the consolation final for the 200-yard individual medley, in 1:48.86 (third-fastest all-time at Cal Poly, good for 20 points and another MPSF-best mark).

Additionally, junior Caleb Davies was 11th overall in the sprint freestyle, finishing in 20.72 seconds (actually three-hundredths off his prelims pace), adding 16 more points to the tally, as the squad ranks third so far with a score of 221 (behind Stanford's 566 and UC Santa Barbara's 279).

In the women's 200 IM, senior Allison de Peralta took 12th place, at 2:05.56, to chalk up 15 points, as the team is eighth heading into Day 2, scoring a 144.

To view the full opening-day results on each side, click HERE.

The UC San Diego-hosted competition will continue through Saturday. The Mustang divers will also soon be in action, competing at the Wildcat Diving Invite held at Arizona until Sunday afternoon.

Mustang News File Photo Courtesy of Christa Lam