It was senior day at Campus Pool Saturday afternoon and the UCSB senior swimmers brought their A games to the meet. The men’s and women’s swim teams battled against rival University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the final home meet of the season and came away with identical winning scores of 155 to 107.
“This was a great victory for the program,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “The men and the women went after it from the very first event.”
The relay teams for the Gauchos have been strong all season long and this meet was no exception. UCSB came out swimming fast, with both the men and the women victorious in the first race of the meet, the 200 yard medley relay. Santa Barbara didn’t let up either, closing out the meet with victories in both the men’s and women’s 400 yard freestyle relay.
“It’s good to have those bookends,” Wilson said of his relay teams. “It’s some pretty good assurance that we can have strong beginnings and endings [to our meets].”
The distance races have consistently been one of the Gauchos’ weaknesses this season and UNLV was able to capitalize. They dominated UCSB in the grueling 1000 yard freestyle, finishing first and second in the women’s race and taking the top three spots in the men’s race.
One of the top performances from the Gauchos came from senior Naomi Javanifard who won the 100 yard backstroke, came in second in the 50 yard freestyle and was a member of both winning relay teams for the women. The team nominated Javanifard as their female swimmer of the meet.
“Naomi is an incredible racer,” senior Anne Marie May said of her teammate. “She has so much heart and so much drive. I was really proud and happy for her.”
Another great performance came from freshman Emily Adamczyk. Adamczyk finished first in the 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 2:18.30, second in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.04, and was a member of the winning women’s 200 yard medley relay team.
“It’s nice to see the younger girls and guys stepping up to fill that role [of the seniors] and stepping up to fill it in a fearless fashion,” May said.
Facing a UNLV men’s team ranked 22nd in the country, the UCSB men really needed to swim their best and they did just that. One of the strongest performers for the men was sophomore Kevin Ferguson, who finished first in the 100 yard backstroke, came in second to freshman teammate Ryan Hanni in the 100 yard freestyle, and was a member of both of the Gauchos’ winning relay teams.
The UCSB women were able to take the majority of the sprint races from UNLV, thanks to a handful of excellent swimmers including last weeks Big West Female Swimmer of the Week, May, who showed once again why she is among the best sprint swimmers in the country. May, who in December came in fifth place in the 50 yard freestyle at the 2009 AT&T Short Course National Championship, took first place in both the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard freestyle against UNLV.
“It was so much fun to have that win,” May said. “They’re a really strong team and I think it showed a lot of spirit for us. It was really nice to have the last home meet be such a positive experience for all of us.”