The UCSB women’s swim team shined as bright as the sunny Isla Vista weather last Sunday, winning 124-77 in a dominating performance against the University of San Diego on senior day at Campus Pool.
“We had a very good meet,” UCSB Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We took a big step forward in our progress. I am pretty pleased with our athletes’ efforts.”
The Gauchos, who improved to 12-5 on the season, looked like a team determined to make a statement after a number of sub-par performances in their last meets. UCSB took first place in all 11 swim events. The Toreros automatically got 18 points for having a diving team, which Santa Barbara does not have. UCSB was so overwhelming that they went 1-2-3 in six events. In fact, the Gauchos failed to finish first and second only three times in the whole meet.
Three Gauchos – junior Romina Mosquera, sophomore Colleen Barnett and freshman Lindsay Dalonzo – were the standout swimmers in the meet, taking first in two individual events apiece. Mosquera was the top finisher in the grueling 1,000 freestyle and 200 backstroke. The Irvine, Calif., native swam a time of 10:30.76 in the 1,000 and a time of 2:12.15 in the 200. Barnett stepped up her performance in the 200 free, in which she out-touched USD’s top swimmer, Carolyn Gorrick by one one-hundredth of a second, 1:55.18 to 1:55.19. The Sacramento native also took first in 500 free with a time of 5:04.73. Dalonzo, a two-time Big West Swimmer of the Week in only her first year of collegiate swimming, was the fastest in the 50 free (24.88) and the 200 butterfly (2:05.33).
Other first place finishes came from senior Karen Snyder and juniors Julia King and Tammy Pratummas. Snyder, swimming in her final meet at UCSB, took first in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:10.81. King, the Gauchos’ top sprint swimmer this year, won the 100 free with a blazing time of 53.43. Pratummas, a veteran of three years in the breaststroke events, took first in the 200 breast, clocking in with a time of 2:27.62. The Gauchos were also victorious in the 400 medley relay (3:55.29), consisting of King, freshman Pam Wong, Snyder and Dalonzo, and also in the 200 free relay (1:39.49), which included senior co-captain Karin Finger, Snyder, Mosquera and King.
The win was a much-needed boost for the Gauchos, who are heading into their biggest dual meet of the season. Both Santa Barbara’s women’s and men’s teams will travel to Stockton to take on Big West foe University of the Pacific, in what should be a preview of the 2002 Big West Championships.
“Overall, the meet against USD brought up our morale,” senior co-captain Shelby Chandler said. “We are nervous but exited to swim against Pacific.”
Revenge will be on Pacific’s mind. Last season, Santa Barbara upset the heavily favored Tigers at the 2001 Big West Championships.
“We will need to take the same tenacity [as the USD meet] into Pacific.” Wilson said. “We will be swimming after a long bus ride, the weather will be miserable, and we are at Pacific’s home turf.”
But Wilson feels these negatives will not deter his athletes. “I want our team to get up for this meet and race. Just flat-out race.”