Juniors Kevin Ferguson and Chris Peterson posted career-best times in the 100-meter freestyle this weekend as the men’s swimming and diving team finished the Long Beach invitational meet in sixth place. Freshmen Allie Knight and Sophia Yamauchi each recorded an NCAA ‘B’ cut in the 200-meter backstroke, helping the women’s team finish tenth overall out of a field of 19 teams.
“This was an explosive, powerful meet,” Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We did a really good job … we had a great meet.”
Ferguson and Peterson’s times of 43.92 and 44.26 helped the Gauchos score 544.5 overall points, but it wasn’t enough as the Stanford men won the meet with 1,442.5 total points. UCSB women finished the meet with 291 points as the Stanford women won with 1,641 points.
The Gauchos were without multiple swimmers over the course of the weekend. Sophomore Ryan Hanni sat out the 100 and 200-meter freestyle events due to illness, while four swimmers on the women’s side also missed events, including sophomore Katy Tomkinson and junior Kendall Neely.
Though the number of competing swimmers has been low for UCSB all season, it has not had a negative impact on the team’s scores during meets.
“We knew at the beginning of the year this was a small team,” Wilson said. “They’ve become very close. [Our swimmers] are really coming through.”
With its low numbers, UCSB still proved to be a strong competitor. Freshman Allie Knight finished the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 1:58.36, which marks the second fastest time in UCSB women’s swimming history.
The UCSB 400-meter freestyle relay team of sophomore Katie Stover, freshman Anne Peanasky, freshman Mariah Tharp and freshman Sophia Yamauchi finished ninth place overall with a time of 3:25.84.
“We did really well,” Yamauchi said. “We’re really proud of our Gaucho team.”
Ohio State will be the next location for UCSB swimming, as six total swimmers from the men and women’s team will travel with coach Wilson to Columbus for a U.S. National meet beginning Dec. 2. One of the swimmers traveling to Ohio is Kevin Ferguson, who was part of the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay team that posted a third place time of 2:58.22 this past weekend.
“All of us are looking forward to having a meet where we can focus on individual races,” Ferguson said.
Because it will be a ‘Championship’ meet, there will be more rest time between events for each competing swimmer. This will create a better opportunity for Ferguson and his fellow UCSB teammates to focus on their own performance in order to achieve best times.
UCSB has more than a month break until its next meet. West Virginia will travel to campus pool on New Year’s Eve for an afternoon meet beginning at 1 p.m.