A matchup of two conference rivals ended in a tie this weekend, when UCSB swimming and diving visited the Cal Poly Mustangs for a dual meet. The Gaucho men beat the Mustangs 116-114, while the women lost 142-99 in what was the final meet of the regular season for both teams.
“We knew it was gonna be a real close meet,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “They were ready for us, and we knew it.”
Wilson had hoped to begin the meet with strong showings in the relay events, which he was granted when both the UCSB men and women won the 400-yard medley relay. The women’s all-freshman team of Allie Knight, Sophia Yamauchi, Andrea Ward and Anne Peanasky beat the Cal Poly relay team with a time of 3:50.03. The men’s squad of junior Ryan Garcia, junior Tim Freeman, sophomore Max Horrell and junior Chris Peterson touched the wall first in 3:21.24.
“We’ve got a very good medley relay,” Wilson said. “It opens up the meet with a bang because it’s a big point swing.”
The Cal Poly swim and dive team held a ceremony during the meet, honoring senior swimmers for their careers as Mustangs.
“We had to swim as hard as we could to win,” junior Evan Simoni said. “We knew that they would be going real hard on us because no one wants to lose their senior meet.”
Peterson won the 50-yard freestyle event for the men in 20.17, beating out teammate junior Kevin Ferguson, who finished second in 20.58. Cal Poly men took the lead midway through the meet behind strong finishes in distance swimming events.
“We had to turn it around halfway and get more serious,” Simoni said.
UCSB had strong showings in the short distance sprint events and gained momentum from Horrell’s 200-yard butterfly win, as well as junior Ryan Hanni’s 100-yard freestyle win and Freeman’s first place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke.
“We took on the idea that we can’t lose,” Simoni said. “That’s the ideology we need going into conference [championships].”
The UCSB 200-yard freestyle relay team secured the victory for the men as Peterson, Hanni, Thompson and Ferguson finished in 1:20.16.
The UCSB women did not keep the score as close as the men did in their loss to Cal Poly, yet the Gauchos managed to gain several first-place finishes during the meet. Junior Kendall Neely won the 50-yard freestyle event in 23.79 while Knight took first in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:04.15. Yamauchi, in addition to helping the women’s relay team finish first, won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:18.14.
Cal Poly women gained the majority of its points by having multiple-place finishes in various events. The Mustangs finished first and second in the 400-yard individual medley, as well as first through third in diving. Cal Poly also finished first and second in the 200-yard fly.
“That’s momentum,” Wilson said. “We didn’t step up and stop the momentum. You can’t make up for that.”
UCSB returns to the pool for practice until Feb. 23, when MPSF conference championship meets begin for the women, and Pac-10 championships begin for the men.