Records in swimming are broken every once in awhile. Breaking a record in your first collegiate swim meet almost never happens.
But on Oct. 19, UCSB freshman Lindsay Dalonzo went one step further, breaking the school records in not only the 100-yard backstroke but also the 200-yard backstroke, all in her first official meet as a Gaucho. For her accomplishments, Dalonzo is the Nexus Sports Athlete of the Week.
Dalonzo’s performance against UCLA and Oregon State in a three-way meet was one to remember. While breaking the 100 back record, with a time of 56:25:00, Dolanzo defeated the runner-up from UCLA by three seconds and two body lengths. Dalonzo bested the old mark of 56:53:00 set by Stephanie Raymond in 1992 by .28 seconds. In the 200 Dalonzo was even more impressive, taking first place with a blazing time of 2:02.24, and finishing four seconds ahead of her closest competitor. The old mark of 2:02.76, set by Erin Patrick in 1994, was lowered by .52 seconds.
“We as a coaching staff were very pleased with not only her times but the fact that she did it so dominantly against one of the best swim programs in the nation [UCLA],” UCSB Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “Even the UCLA coach complemented me on her performance.”
As for thoughts on her performance, Dalonzo was reserved about her accomplishments, saying just that it was “exiting” and was even surprised herself on the outcome.
“I didn’t think I would break the record this early,” she said.
The performance was made even more satisfying for Dalonzo because she was also recruited by UCLA during high school.
“I almost went there so it felt good to beat them,” Dalonzo said.
Breaking records is nothing new for Dalonzo, who owns the 100 and 200 back records for her alma mater, Lincoln High School, in Stockton. In addition, Dalonzo has the 100 and 200 back records in the San Joaquin Athletic Association and the Central Valley Section. Because she swam so well at Lincoln and on her club team, Dalonzo was invited to the 2001 Olympic Trials where she competed against the premiere athletes in the nation.
“I was really nervous at the Olympic Trials,” Dalonzo said. “It was a good experience just to see the competition there.”
As for goals for this season, Dalonzo would like nothing more than for the Gauchos to win the Big West Championship and for her to qualify for the NCAA championships. Wilson and the rest of the coaching staff seem to agree with those goals.”Our goal for her is to reach the NCAAs, and have her perform well at the Big West Championship,” Wilson said.
Despite owning two Gauchos’ records, Dalonzo is still nervous about Santa Barbara’s conference showdown with UOP. Swimming against the Tigers will be a sort of homecoming for the Stockton, Calif. native, a homecoming that Dolanzo is already thinking about.”It’s going to be hard,” Dalonzo said. “I have so many friends swimming for UOP.”
Since Dalonzo is only a freshman, Wilson is extremely excited about the possibilities for her future and the future of his team.”
“We have not had a female athlete come in and do what she has this early,” Wilson said. “She works hard in practice, in the weight room and races so well so early in the season. She has set standards for the rest of the team to aspire to. All that we ask of her is to continue to keep things in perspective and keep working hard and good things will keep coming.”