The UCSB men’s and women’s swimming teams enjoyed the travel to Honolulu, Hawaii to compete against the University of Hawaii last weekend in their second dual meet of the year.
The women’s squad performed outstandingly, winning 137-81 to mark its second dual meet victory. The meet began with Santa Barbara’s top women swimmers in the 100 medley relay touching the wall nine seconds before the Warrior’s top relay finished. As the day progressed, the team continued with this same eagerness, as UCSB took first and second place finishes in most of the events.
“We cheered a lot and had a lot of enthusiasm,” freshman freestyle sprinter Jennifer Cook said. “I think that really helped.”
Several swimmers gained their personal best times, which is a difficult feat for swimmers this early in the season. Swimmers and fans alike are anxious to watch the team improve.
“These times are definitely going to drop again,” senior butterfly swimmer Kristel Haesler said.
Junior Stephanie Netzley was a huge asset to the Gaucho success as she took first place in both the 100 and 200yard freestyle, followed by freshman sprinter Lauren Moskovitz, who took third and second, respectively, in those events.
Many UCSB seniors dominated the meet. Sprinter Julia King, middle distance Romina Mosquera and distance Vicky Rogers all tallied first place finishes. The freshmen swimmers also turned in top swims to display the promising potential for subsequent meets and future years.
“This was the best girls meet we’ve had in two years,” Haesler said.
The men’s team did not share the same success that the women’s team enjoyed as they faced a much tougher competition. Hawaii’s men’s team grabbed most of the first place finishes in the meet, leaving UCSB trailing behind in second or third place.
“The men had a little more trouble because they were up against a great team,” Cook said.
This is not to say that the Gauchos did not put up a great fight. UCSB took first, second, and third places in the 500yard freestyle, as junior distance Eric Koch won with a time of 4:40.57 and left the first Hawaii swimmer trailing 14 seconds behind. Freshman freestyle Patrick Ota and senior distance Matt Wheeler claimed a few second place finishes to keep Santa Barbara within close range.
The women’s success over the Warriors was just the encouragement the Gauchos needed after a tough second day in the Big West Shootout on Nov. 2 in Irvine. Santa Barbara struggled against four Western teams, and lost all four in dissatisfying fashion. The Hawaii meet gave the UCSB women’s swimming a chance to regain their confidence in the 2002-2003 season.