UCSB swim and dive is wrapping up its recruiting efforts in preparation for the 2013-14 season. The class features eight women and eight men, with one additional woman waiting on her admission statement.
The superstar of the class is diver Lester Wright, the son of diving coach Ann Wright. The local product from Goleta was ranked No. 5 in the CIF 1-A Southern Conference and promises to change the entire makeup of the team.
“Lester is going to be a game-changer,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We expect him to break records and be a major player. He’s going to be one of the best divers we’ve ever had and will ever have.”
Wright will come in with four years of eligibility. The team expects him to compete for the Pac-12 Championship starting in his first year.
“Since his best event is the 10-meter platform, an event he didn’t even get to compete in during high school, competing at the college level is going to highlight his strengths,” Wilson said. “It’s great that his best event is the most difficult one. He will compete in every event and be a star. One of our goals is for him to win a national championship.”
The composition of the men’s recruiting class consists of three middle-distance swimmers, who can also compete in the long distance events: one butterfly swimmer who Coach Wilson calls “a hidden talent” and two breaststrokers. Because of the current strength of the men’s team, Wilson did not recruit any pure sprinters.
“We’re so deep already in the sprints that we’re having to deny one of our middle-distance swimmers the chance to run sprints,” Wilson said. “As a whole, the men’s class is a bit stronger than the women’s, but they both feature several solid contributors.”
On the women’s side, the class features two sprinters, one diver, one middle-distance swimmer and four utility swimmers who can compete in multiple events. Not included in the eight present commitments is one swimmer who graduated high school early and is currently enrolled at a city college. She is awaiting acceptance upon completion of her classes. Because she is not a commitment, her name will remain unreleased.
“She’s a very talented sprinter and an excellent, bright student,” Wilson said. “But it’s a unique case. She only practices [[SPORTS: there has been a word omitted here, can you find out what it is?]] a week due to her commute. We’ll have to bring her along slowly, but she’s ready for the transition to a more vigorous training regimen.”
The one weakness of the women’s team that was not addressed was the middle-distance swims.
“We went for some girls for middle distance and came up short this time,” Wilson said. “But we’ll have some excellent performers. I think five of them will start on the supporting team, but we always have surprises and someone might come along.”
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo by Adam Lugowski of The Daily Nexus.