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After a grueling four days of competition, the UCSB women’s swim and dive team secured second place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships.
UC Davis was able to take first place with a score of 712.5, followed by UCSB in second with a score of 638 and finally BYU in third with a score of 620 to round out the top three.
“We had a good meet and I am really proud of all the girls,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “The seniors led the way throughout the meet and every day they did what they had to do.”
Following the competition, Andrea Ward was named the MPSF Swimmer of the Year for the second time in her tenure at UCSB. Ward finished the competition with three individual victories and also swam in three winning relays.
“I was surprised; it’s the biggest blessing ever,” Ward said. “I don’t want to take credit for any of it though because I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and my teammates.”
Coach Wilson was also named MPSF Coach of the Year for the second time in the past three years.
The first day of competition was highlighted by a pair of stunning Gaucho relay swims. Senior Allie Knight, junior Katie Records, senior Andrea Ward and senior Sophia Yamauchi out-touched UC Davis by two one-hundredths of a second to notch first in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:39.87. Ward also combined with junior Heren Alanis and seniors Monica Garcia and Anne Peanasky to place first in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a new school record time of 7:16.42.
Day two featured strong individual swims from a number of Gauchos. Ward began the day by placing first in the 500-yard freestyle, setting a new school record with a time of 4:46.99. Alanis took second with a time of 4:48.81. Yamauchi would follow Ward’s example by grabbing the top spot in the 200 IM with a time of 2:00.23. Knight and Records would go on to finish in the third and fourth place spots with times of 2:01.07 and 2:01.25, respectively.
Diving was also on display during day two as UCSB freshman Mariah Renteria placed sixth in the women’s one-meter dive with a score of 228.90.
The UCSB seniors kept their blistering pace going through day three of the competition and showed no signs of slowing down. Knight kicked things off by notching first in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:16.44, followed shortly by fellow Gaucho Heren Alanis (4:16.74). Ward swam a brilliant 100-yard butterfly, setting a new school record in preliminaries with a time of 51.92 and later took first in the finals with a time of 52.27.
Also on day three, Records and junior Carissa Metcalf were able to take second and third in the 100-yard breaststroke with times of 1:01.66 and 1:02.40, respectively. Diving took place as well with sophomore Hannah Tomp finishing 11th for the Gauchos in the consolation finals. The day would end on a high note for UCSB with Knight, Records, Ward and Yamauchi teaming up again to place first in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:38.68.
The final day of competition saw a number of top-three finishes for the UCSB women. Knight took second in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:57.92, Yamauchi took third in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.64 and Records took second in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:13.58. Ward put up the lone individual victory of the day, touching in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:55.79.
Up next for the women’s swim and dive team will be the NCAA championships, which begin in March.
This article appeared on page 6 of Feb. 24th’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo courtesy of ucsbgauchos.com