The UCSB men’s and women’s swim teams gave USC a good fight, but the Gauchos still gasped short of victory.
Santa Barbara’s top swimmers couldn’t overcome the Trojans’ All-Americans, falling 170-89 to #6 USC at Campus Pool on Saturday. The UCSB men’s squad also fell to the Trojans by a similar margin of 169.5 to 91.5.
“The meet went pretty well,” UCSB Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “It was a fair representation based on the week’s training.”
Training after winter vacation was intense, with the swimmers quickly preparing for the weekend’s meets.
“It was hard because we had some girls missing,” senior Julia King said. “We had a tough week of training, and we were definitely broken down.”
However, outstanding times from sophomore Lindsay Dalonzo and freshman Jennifer Cook boosted UCSB’s morale. Dalonzo won the 100 backstroke with a comfortable lead, and Cook placed first in the 100 breaststroke. Senior Julia King won the freestyle sprint with a time of 24.26 for the Gauchos.
“We were very impressed by Julia,” Wilson said. “She struggled a bit on Friday but then really came through for us on Saturday.”
Santa Barbara defeated San JosŽ State 117-69 on Friday.
The UCSB men also faced stiff competition, as the #8 Trojans were armed with All-American Erik Vendt, who earned three individual victories. However, the Gauchos performed well with senior sprinter Anders Nelson’s victory in the 200 freestyle and senior Marc Cavallero’s victory in the 100 breaststroke.
“It was a good time for this point in the season, but not quite what I’m shooting for,” Cavallero said on his time in the breaststroke. “With the work we’ve been doing in the weight room and the tough practices this past week, I guess I’m happy with my time.”
Again, the Gauchos dominated in the 50 freestyle sprint, as junior Ryan Dingler took first place with a time of 21.54.
“USC is not as good in the sprints as they have been. The 50 freestyle is a fickle event, but our sprinters have had encouraging swims, so we counted on them,” Wilson said.
The Gauchos prepare for Friday’s meet against the University of the Pacific in Campus Pool.
“This weekend is probably our biggest dual meet of the season,” Wilson said. “We swam well against USC, but we need to do much better against UOP.”
The Gauchos know that the Tigers pose the biggest threat for conference dominance.
“UOP is our biggest rival,” King said.