UC San Diego was no match for UCSB swimming and diving in its first home meet of the season, as both the men’s and women’s programs were victorious in the non-conference meet, with the women beating UCSD 175.5 to 118.5, while the men posted a winning score of 161.5 to 137.5.
“They wanted to show people what they could do,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “And they showed everyone that they mean business.”
The men began the meet with a win in the 200-meter medley relay. Freshman Alex Campbell, junior Kevin Ferguson, sophomore Max Horrell and junior Chris Peterson finished the relay with a time of 1:33.52.
“It was very exciting for everyone, we were swimming the events we’ve been training really well for,” Ferguson said. “Winning the first meet is always a good beginning to a season.”
Other first place finishers for the men include freshman Mike London, who began his collegiate career with a win in the 200-meter freestyle, beating his competition with a time of 1:43.45. Junior Evan Simoni won the 200-meter fly in 1:55.46, following the victory by placing first in the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 1:54.80.
Sprint events were dominated by UCSB during the meet, as Sophomore Ryan Hanni won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.95. Junior Ryan Garcia was first in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 1:51.17, while sophomore Max Horrell won the 100-meter fly in 51.07.
The women’s team was successful as well, winning 11 out of 16 total events during the meet. An initial meet at UCLA this past October showcased the talented freshman class on the women’s team, which has helped keep the momentum strong for the Gauchos throughout the beginning of the season.
“The freshman class definitely contributes to the team’s success,” sophomore Paige Bradley said. “They’re kicking butt right now.”
One freshman swimmer in particular grabbed the attention of Coach Wilson on Saturday.
“We continue to see the emergence of Andrea Ward,” Wilson said. “[She swam] the fastest 1,000-meter freestyle time I have seen since I’ve been here.”
Ward finished first in the 1,000-meter freestyle when she touched the wall in 10:12.71. The women’s 200-meter medley relay team of sophomores Paige Bradley and Katie Stover along with freshmen Sophia Yamauchi and Anne Peansky placed first overall in the event with a time of 1:46.13. Peansky also won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.78, while fellow freshman Yamauchi won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.42.
Both the men and women’s teams will return to the pool for practice this week, and will face Cal Poly in another home meet on Saturday at 12 p.m.
“Next weekend will be a little bit higher competition so we all need to be swimming our best races,” Bradley said. “[We want to] go out there and do the same thing we did to UCSD.”