The UCSB men’s and women’s swim teams put their feet in the water for the first time this weekend, yet came out of the pool shivering.

The women’s squad faltered in a tough opening meet, finishing third behind UCLA and Oregon State on Saturday in Los Angeles. The Bruins and Beavers proved their mettle in the pool, but the Gauchos will likely gain speed and strength as the season progresses.

“It’s hard early in the year,” UCSB Assistant Coach Brandon Seider said. “We’re still training, so we don’t have the fastest times yet.”

Despite being dominated by the Bruins in a 166-95 loss, Santa Barbara still managed to take first- and second-place finishes and display enormous potential for the 2002-03 season.

“We have a great freshman class; they’ll be strong this year,” senior sprinter Julia King said.

Sophomore backstroker Lindsay Dalonzo enjoyed an excellent first meet, taking second in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.08 and second in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:02.93, just one hundredth of a second behind UCLA’s Taylor Spivey.

King excelled in the meet, as she proved to be a valuable anchor for both the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. King, the 2002 team MVP, set the UCSB records for both the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Despite her scintillating performance, King admits that she still has room for improvement.

“I didn’t do as well as I would have liked,” King said. “The pool had some contours that created optical illusions, and I just think that I could have done better.”

The UCSB men’s swimming squad enjoyed a solid opening meet, winning 152-110 against NCAA Division II champion Cal State Bakersfield.

The Gauchos also jumped to a good start in the 200 medley relay, taking first place with a time of 1:35.05. UCSB held onto its lead, gaining points with several first- and second-place finishes.

Senior sprinter Anders Nelson took first place in both the 100 freestyle, with a time of 46.68, and the 200 freestyle, with a time of 1:41.97. Sophomore breaststroker Derek Ogata claimed first place in the 100 breaststroke and second in the 200. The Roadrunners boasted only five first-place finishes in comparison to UCSB’s nine.