The UCSB men’s swim and dive team will host USC in its first meet of the season at home this Saturday.
The Gauchos will be looking to start off the season strong with a victory over Southern California, who will be competing just one day after its first meet of the season against Cal Poly.
The Gauchos will show a lot of new faces Saturday as 11 new freshmen will be appearing in their first ever collegiate meet. These first years are extremely diverse in event ability and look to make a significant impact in multiple competitions.
Veteran Gauchos will still be relied on heavily to lead the way at Campus Pool. Senior sprinter freestyle swimmer Wade Allen and senior distance freestyle swimmer Andrew Barmann are two Gauchos set to lead the team for the upcoming year; both have been Mid-Major All-Americans honorable mentions. Pressure among the seniors to lead Santa Barbara is intensified considering the change in conference for the men’s team.
After spending four years in the Pac-12 Conference, the men’s team has made a switch to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Conference, where the Santa Barbara women’s team currently competes in. UCSB will compete against four other schools in Brigham Young, Cal Poly, Hawaii and Pacific in the MPSF.
Although the Trojans may find themselves fatigued from the previous day’s competition, recent success indicates that will not be an issue. The program has placed only as low as eighth place in its last four appearances in the NCAA Championship, led by dominant senior freestyle swimmer Cristian Quintero. Last season, the six-time All-American achieved Pac-12 first place honors in both the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle while also leading the Trojans’ 400-yard relay team to the NCAA title meet.
The meet with USC is set to start Saturday at 1 p.m.