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Mackle, Fierro, Davies Lead Cal Poly on First Day of Arena Invitational

Mackle, Fierro, Davies Lead Cal Poly on First Day of Arena Invitational

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – Three Cal Poly swimmers posted top-five finishes Thursday evening on the first day of the three-day Arena Invitational hosted by UC San Diego at East Los Angeles College.

Five teams competed on the men's side, while 11 schools were represented in the women's scores.

Mustang sophomore Mickey Mackle finished second in the men's 200-yard IM, in 1 minute, 49.92 seconds, to tally 28 points. Earlier in the day, he had opened by putting up the top prelims time (1:51.03). Pacific senior Oliver Simkovic ultimately won in 1:49.31.

Sophomore teammate Johnny Dodero was 11th in the 200 IM, at 1:55.84, for 16 more points. The Mustangs' depth didn't stop there, though, as junior Tyler Pickett was 13th (in 1:56.24, for 14 points), ahead of a trio of freshmen: Josh Roeber (19th, in 1:59.94, for six points), Nick Meyer (20th, 2:00.09, five) and Alex Behnam (23rd, 2:03.20, two).

Earlier during the finals stage, another Cal Poly sophomore, Sonny Fierro (pictured at far right), chalked up 27 points in the 500 freestyle, with a third-place finish at 4:28.02 (just 37-hundredths off a program-record pace that has stood for four seasons). Senior Adrian Brynnel swam in the race's consolation final, adding 17 points with a 10th-place swim of 4:30.97.

The Mustangs also got a No. 1 prelims performance from freshman sprinter Caleb Davies in the 50 free, in 20.59 seconds (three-tenths off a four-season-old school record). Davies, who was a top-20 NISCA/Speedo All-American in the event as a senior at West Hills High School in Santee a year ago, came back in the evening Thursday to better his time to 20.52, finishing in fourth place in the championship final to accrue 26 points.

Blake Motal, also a high school All-American, added 15 points with a 12th-place showing (at 21.07), followed closely by a third freshman, Jack Jenner, in 13th for 14 points, at 21.21. Junior teammate Mackey Hopen was 16th to garner 11 more points, touching the wall in 21.63.

Allison de Peralta, a sophomore, was 12th in the women's 200-yard IM, in 2:06.89, to earn 15 points. Freshman teammate Maddy Pendleton contributed 13 additional points by coming in 14th (2:07.38), and sophomore Gabby Lindblad was 18th (2:07.05) to register seven points for Cal Poly.

Senior Jill Jones scored 11 points in the 50 free, with a time of 23.89, to finish 16th.

Sophomore Nicole Antoniuk scored six points with a 19th-place finish in the 500 free (5:02.67).

Cal Poly picked up 50 team points in the 200 free relay, as sophomore Taylor Guy, senior Rachel Cleak, freshman Emma Henderson and Jones clocked a 1:34.47. De Peralta, Lindblad, Cleak and Jones also finished fifth in the 400 medley relay for another 50 points, in 3:48.53.

In the men's 200 free relay, Jenner, Hopen, Motal and Davies swam to a 1:22.09 for a runner-up finish accompanied by 56 points. Davies' anchoring split of 19.55 was the fastest of the day from any team.

Through the first 10 events, the men's squad is in third place, with 311 points. Hawai'i holds the lead at 503. The women are in 10th, with a score of 152, only four points back of seventh place. San Jose State is in front at 318.

Friday's prelims will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the finals starting at 5 p.m.