The UCSB men and women’s swimming and diving teams each suffered losses this past weekend during separate meets at USC and UCLA. The Gaucho men’s swim team lost its doubleheader against the ninth-ranked Trojans 140-44 and 136-47. The UCSB women’s team was defeated by the fifth-ranked USC swimmers 156-92.
“We’re still learning how to be very competitive [in this league],” junior Chris Peterson said. “[and we’re learning] to motivate ourselves to realize that we need to take all [races] extremely seriously.”
This weekend’s host teams are currently ranked in national top-10 polls, and are prominent programs in the Pac-10 conference. After being a championship-caliber team for many years, a move from the Big West to the Pac-10 this past fall offers UCSB the chance to become dominant in a more competitive conference.
“We’re really excited since it’s an increase in competition,” Peterson said. “It gives us a lot of opportunity to grow and push ourselves further to compete on the same level as [other Pac-10 teams] are.”
Peterson was one of the few Gaucho men’s swimmers who finished with multiple first-place times during the meet. He won the 100-yard freestyle twice on Saturday, his fastest time being 44.70. The Gauchos garnered various second place finishes, including junior Kevin Ferguson’s with a 50-yard freestyle time of 21.11 and sophomore Max Horrell’s 23.35 time in the 50-yard fly.
The UCSB women’s team finished multiple events with two or more Gauchos placing in the top five. Junior Kendall Neely and freshman Mariah Tharp finished the 50-yard freestyle with respective times of 23.87 and 24.43, taking second and third place for the Gauchos. In the 100-yard freestyle, sophomore Emma Hunt, sophomore Katie Tomkinson and Neely took second through fourth place.
An invitational divers-only meet at UCLA yielded losing results as well for the UCSB diving squad. Senior Missy Burley, the only Gaucho women’s diver, finished Friday’s three-meter preliminary event with a score of 159.75. She finished 35th overall the following day in the one-meter competition.
For the men, sophomore Toby Moyneur placed 13th on the one-meter board, and finished 12th in the semi-finals of the three-meter board with a score of 116.60.
This weekend’s finishes may be after-effects of a tough training regimen that had been implemented for the Gauchos over Winter Break. Fatigue could have been a factor during the meet at USC, but UCSB hopes that the work will pay off during the rest of the season.
“We came [to work out] when everyone else was at home, and we worked our butts off,” senior Brittany Borowitz said. “I think our strong points will shine.”