UC Davis Today: 60 years of tradition

Woman swimming in water

60 years of tradition: Women swimmers and divers excel

The UC Davis women’s swimming and diving team (7-2 overall, 4-0 in league competition) is back in action this weekend, competing in Bakersfield in their final road dual meet of the season. A week later, the team faces off against UC Santa Barbara in its last home meet of the year.

UC Davis women’s swimming and diving dates back to 1949, when it was launched by its adviser, Marya Welch, through the Women’s Athletic Association. After the passage of Title IX, swimming was among the first UC Davis sport offerings for women. Debbie Meyer, who won three gold medals at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, was head coach before the current one, Barbara Jahn, took the reins in 1975.

Four years after a successful Division I transition, student-athletes in the intercollegiate athletics program continue to perform at a high level academically even as the level of competition has risen. Education — in the classroom, and on the field (or pool) of play — is at the heart of Davis athletics.

(Photo of student-athlete Liliana Alvarez during swim team practice, by Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis. At the Missouri Invitational in December, Alvarez had a pair of NCAA qualifying times in the 200- and 100-yard breaststroke competitions.)

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