Despite the cold weather and overcast skies, the UCSB men’s and women’s swimming teams defeated University of Nevada, Las Vegas in a meet Saturday.
“It’s tough to swim in that weather, but we were prepared for it,” sophomore Ben Fisher said. “As coach would say, no matter the weather or how you feel, go out there and race.”
The men won 135-127 over the Rebels and the women triumphed 149-113. This was the Gauchos’ final home meet and the teams honored their seniors in front of parents, siblings, friends and supporters. The senior Gaucho cast includes Shaun Crossman, Gavin Kelly, Eric Koch, Brian Mirkovich, David Robinson, Colleen Barnett and Stephanie Netzley.
“The seniors really paid the price of perseverance. We appreciate and honor them for all the early mornings, all the hard work and what it has meant to us, not only this year, but for four years,” UCSB Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “It was a wonderful way to end their home swimming career, a fulfilling day.”
The men came out strong at the beginning of the meet, winning the first three events, including the 200-meter medley relay, and continued to race well throughout the meet. Freshman Myles Peck gave a standout performance, taking first place in both the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter backstroke. Senior Eric Koch won the 1000-meter freestyle and freshman Brent Nolan took first in the 500-meter freestyle ahead of three other Gauchos, sophomore Garrett Porteous, freshman Jason Hardy and Koch. Freshman Pat Cary finished second behind a Rebel in both the 100- and 200-meter butterfly.
“It was demanding physically because of the cold and little bit of rain. The team did a good job stepping up to the challenge,” senior team captain David Robinson said. “The whole team came together. We began with great performances in the relays and fought to the very end.”
The women also posted an impressive meet. Freshman Jennifer Schwalb broke two school records, coming in at 2:01.73 in the 200 butterfly and 2:18.92 in the 200-meter breaststroke. Teammate junior Lindsay Dalonzo was the first UCSB woman to break two school records in one meet when she was a freshman. On Saturday, Dalonzo helped the Gauchos with wins in both the 100- and 200-meter backstroke.
Junior Jennifer Lyes also broke a school record with a time of 23.94 in the 50-meter freestyle. Lyes has lost just one 50 freestyle all season.
“We have several kids doing outstanding things,” Wilson said.
Honored seniors Colleen Barnett and Stephanie Netzley swam well in their final home meet. Barnett took fourth in both the 200 and 500 freestyle and Netzley placed second in the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 200 butterfly.
“We’re going to miss the girls a lot. They are good swimmers and great leaders,” junior team captain Jen Moeckel said. Moeckel finished fourth in the 200 butterfly and sixth in the 100 butterfly.
Both Gaucho teams look forward to a competitive meet next weekend against University of the Pacific in Stockton.
“It will be our toughest dual meet of the season,” Wilson said. “We have to be ready to race.”
After their final meet against UOP, the Gauchos will intensify training for the Big West Championships in Long Beach at the end of February.
“We’ve done really well this season. We started out our strongest ever and continued throughout the season,” Robinson said. “We’re going into conference stronger, faster and better than ever before.”