For the second straight year, the UCSB swim team fell short of winning the Arena Invitational in Long Beach, as the men finished in sixth place with 599 points and the women placed eighth with 457 points.
Missing several key swimmers, the Gauchos could not hold off the Stanford men and the Cal women, who each finished in first place for the second consecutive year.
“We were going into it without our full team and not as fully rested, and we still did very well,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We had a very good meet over the span of three days [against] some of the best swimmers in the country … I was pretty proud of a lot of our kids.”
In the final night of events on Saturday, Santa Barbara’s best performance of the evening came in the 400-yard freestyle relay as the men’s “A” team finished in third place with a time of 2:59.89, the highest finish by UCSB in a relay event for the weekend. Still, the Gauchos struggled in finding consistency in distance events on the day as no men or women were able to crack the top five in the 1650-yard freestyle.
Sophomore Carissa Metcalf had an excellent second day as she earned an NCAA “B” cut in the 100-yard breaststroke and would go on to finish in second place with a time of 1:02.08, the highest individual finish for any Gaucho on the day. Metcalf also finished in eighth place as part of the women’s “A” team that participated in the 200-yard medley relay.
“Carissa Metcalf had an excellent meet in the breaststroke events. She kind of surprised people in how fast she swam in the 100- and 200-breaststroke and in our relay,” Wilson said. “Carissa has done it through renewed focus and much more attention to detail and just a much better work ethic.”
Junior Allie Knight took ninth in the 200-yard IM and in the 400-yard IM. Knight concluded the weekend by earning an NCAA “B” cut in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing the race in 11th place.
Despite the results, the Gauchos were more focused on familiarizing themselves with the level of competition of the Arena Invitational, as it provided a glimpse into what they will experience heading into conference play.
“We still have a lot of work to do, we have some areas that are not as deep as we are going to need when we go into conference championships, both the men and women,” Wilson said. “This [was] a great meet for us to rehearse and gauge where we are, and see what we need to do … Now we’ve got to match what we’ve done this weekend and go forth.”
A version of this article appeared on page 6 of November 19th, 2012’s print edition of the Nexus.