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Cal Poly Swims to Trio of 3rd-Place Finishes to Close MPSF Championships

Cal Poly Swims to Trio of 3rd-Place Finishes to Close MPSF Championships

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Sage Speak, Austin Cunniff and Paolo Stanchi each posted third-place finishes for the Cal Poly swimming program at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships on Saturday night, closing the four-day conference meet in East Los Angeles College Stadium.

Speak, a true freshman, precisely met the national B standard to become a provisional NCAA Championships qualifier in the women's 200-yard breaststroke, at 2:15.99, second-best in school history.

Cunniff, a sophomore, also bettered his previous collegiate best in the men's 1,650 freestyle (he already ranked No. 5 in school history) to 15:30.52. (Cal Poly freshman Peyton Leeson also added an eighth-place swim in the event, at 15:45.06.)

Stanchi, a senior, touched the wall in 1:59.30 in the men's 200 breast, a race in which he had already met the B cutoff by a much wider margin earlier this season (a school-record pace of 1:58.41). Junior Mickey Mackle was seventh, as well, at 2:01.57. Stanchi also clocked a time of 1:50.85 in the 200 back prelims, before ultimately finishing eighth later on.

A fifth school record over the course of the finals also fell Saturday evening, this time in the men's 200 fly, in which freshman Justin deDianous came in fourth at 1:48.28 — slightly outdoing fellow first-year standout Shannon Fong's prelims performance of 1:48.49.

Sophomore Caleb Davies won the consolation final for the 100 free in 45.36, edging out classmate Jack Jenner (45.52).

In the women's mile, freshman Bonnie Diamond placed eighth at 17:11.12, good for third-fastest in program history, ahead of sophomore teammate Karoline Eckhart in 12th at 17:16.81.

Two Mustang juniors also swam in the championship round of the women's 200 fly, as Belen Enguidanos was sixth in 2:03.19, followed by Taylor Guy in seventh at 2:04.73.

Cal Poly finished in fourth place in the men's overall team standings, with 491 points (as BYU repeated, tallying 830.5), while the women's squad was seventh, with 288 (Hawai'i claimed the title by scoring 747).

The Mustangs will now await pending individual selection announcements for the upcoming NCAA Championships in late March.

Photo © Dan Avila