The Gauchos could not have ended their dual meet season on a better note.
The UCSB men’s swim team drowned Irvine 154-140, while the women’s team defeated the Anteaters 162.5-131.5 at Campus Pool on Saturday afternoon.
For the men’s squad, senior Anders Nelson swam an incredible 200 freestyle race by surging into the lead in the last 50 yards. Juniors Eric Koch and Matt Schubert took first and second in the men’s 1,000 freestyle.
Sophomore Lindsay Dalonzo claimed first place in both the 200 freestyle and the 50 freestyle. Senior freestyler Julia King won the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.57 seconds.
After losing its previous two home meets, Santa Barbara definitely had something to prove.
“We’re defending the home turf, and doing better than we expected,” UCSB Head Assistant Coach Jeremy Kipp said halfway into the meet. “We need to send a message to the conference. I think we’re doing that.”
“This meet is a big confidence builder,” UCSB Assistant Coach Brandon Seider said.
Saturday’s meet was the last home event for the squad’s senior swimmers. The seniors put forth a solid effort, helping UCSB take first and second in most events.
UCSB Head Coach Gregg Wilson thanked the departing seniors for their contributions to the program halfway through the meet.
“It’s sad,” senior freestyler Julia King said about participating in her final event as a Gaucho. “I’m glad I got a chance to swim the 100 yard backstroke.”
Wilson found time to thank each of the senior swimmers individually.
“Anders Nelson always swam with calculating precision which made him a top contender,” Wilson said.
“[Marc Cavallero] had great passion and fury that made him one of the best breaststrokers in the conference,” the coach said.
“[Romina Mosquera] displayed a true love of the sport,” Wilson said.
Other departing seniors on the men’s squad include David Robinson, Karim Varela, and Matt Wheeler. Kristel Haesler, Tammy Pratummas and Vicky Rogers swam their final rounds at Campus Pool on Saturday.
The Big West Conference Championships on Feb. 26-28 will be the last meet for the Gauchos before the NCAA Championships.
Senior individual medley/backstroke swimmer and team captain Matt Wheeler was satisfied with the convincing team victory over the Anteaters.
“I’m glad we kicked the shit out of Irvine,” Wheeler said. “We expect to kick some more ass at the Conference [Championships].”