The University of California San Diego men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs are joining the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), with immediate effect for the 2018-19 season. The MPSF Administrative Committee granted the membership. The league made the announcement on Friday.
The change in league alignment comes after UC San Diego’s sustained long-term success in the Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC). The Tritons depart following a decade of dominance as winners of the last 10 PCSC championships in a row by both their men and women. The women brought home 15 PCSC trophies in total, and the men 11, since 2002.
The switch to the MPSF is in line with UC San Diego’s move from the NCAA Division II level to Division I in the fall of 2020. All of the Tritons’ new opponents in the MPSF will be Division I foes. Their addition gives the MPSF 14 teams in the sport, eight on the women’s side and six for the men.
UC San Diego will compete in the 2019 MPSF Championships against BYU, Cal Poly, Hawai’i, Pacific, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis (women), and local rivals from the University of San Diego (women). The swim portion of the 2019 conference meet is set to be held Feb. 20-23 at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) in Monterey Park for the eighth straight year, while diving will be contested Feb. 21-23 at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena for the sixth year in a row. The Tritons previously competed at ELAC during a pair of PCSC Championships (2016, 2017) and multiple editions of the A3 Performance Invitational (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
The Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine women are the PCSC’s only current Division I members.
“The MPSF welcomes UC San Diego into our 2019 swimming and diving championship,” said MPSF Executive Director Al Beaird. “Our coaches showed strong support for UCSD’s future membership. Despite its current NCAA Division II status, we expect the Tritons to be competitive, as they are very well-coached and are ramping up for NCAA Division I and Big West Conference membership in 2020-21.”
“We are very excited to join the MPSF and step up to the challenge of competing in one of the strongest conference (championship) meets in the West,” said UC San Diego head coach David Marsh, who will enter his second year in charge of the Tritons this fall. “The depth and quality of the swimming and diving events in the MPSF will present a big challenge to our student-athletes. We look forward to joining these great academic and athletic programs in spirited and healthy competition.”
Marsh served as head coach of the U.S. women’s swim team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, guiding them to eight gold medals among an impressive total haul of 16. He is thus eligible to be selected as a coach for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The UC San Diego women placed seventh at the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships in Greensboro, N.C., with the men in 21st. The teams combined for 23 All-America distinctions and 20 All-America honorable mentions, having sent a total of 24 swimmers and divers to the event. The Tritons have two more years remaining at the Division II level.
The MPSF enters its 27th year of NCAA Division I competition in 2018-19, and its ninth year of hosting swimming and diving championships. The MPSF owns 92 NCAA titles across 11 sports, dating back to its 1992-93 inaugural year. The UC San Diego men’s volleyball program was an MPSF member for 25 years from 1993-2017, before moving this past season into the newly-formed Big West Conference.
The Big West does not sponsor men’s or women’s swimming and diving, though Cal Poly, Hawai’i, UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis are traditional members in all sports, like UC San Diego will be. The Tritons annually contest dual meets at UC Santa Barbara toward the beginning of their competition calendar in the first week of November, with the women squaring off with USD at the end of the regular season. They have topped the Toreros in six straight meetings and 15 of the last 17 (15-1-1).
UC San Diego’s 2018-19 schedule will be published in the coming weeks.
–UC San Diego/ and information provided by the MPSF was used in this release.