The UCSB men’s swimming team once again performed well in undesirable conditions – cold temperatures with 15 mph winds – and defeated rival University of the Pacific while the women’s team suffered a heartbreaking loss. The men triumphed 146-116 over last year’s conference champs; the women lost 100-162.
“It was an overall team victory [for the men] and that’s what it’s all about,” UCSB Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “It’s unfortunate for the women. We needed a full team performance and only half performed well. The women are much better than they showed.”
The men won both relays as well as five individual events, giving the Gauchos the lead early on. Despite UOP’s having won seven individual events, UCSB had more depth by placing more often in second, third and fourth.
“Depth is our strength. We also have great front-line swimmers. In Stockton our depth was realized and will be much more exposed at conference in two weeks,” Wilson said.
Senior Eric Koch, junior Derek Ogata and sophomore Patrick Ota swam well for the Gauchos winning the 1000-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke, respectively. After a strong first half, the Gauchos collapsed during the 200-yard backstroke, letting the Tigers back in the race. But UCSB did not give up that easily and battled back. Freshman Pat Cary took second in both his events.
“Pat went up against UOP’s best swimmer and lost by two tenths of a second. In his second race, he lost by three one-hundredths of a second,” Wilson said. “We’re going to see him erupt at conference.”
The UCSB A relay team won the 200-yard medley relay at the start of the meet and the 200-yard freestyle relay at the end. In both races, the UCSB B relay team took third by a few one-hundredths behind UOP’s A team.
The women won only four individual events and lost both relays. Wilson explained that the women needed to be more mentally prepared for the tough meet. UOP’s women’s team consists of five All-American swimmers and 11 seniors, posting a strong, deep and dependable team. Freshman Jennifer Schwalb led the Gauchos by winning the 200-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard IM, and took second in the 200-yard butterfly.
“Schwalb was narrowly defeated by last year’s Big West Swimmer of the Year and All-American senior by only four tenths of a second,” Wilson said.
Juniors Jennifer Lyes and Lindsay Dalonzo won their specialties for UCSB, but the women did not have the depth like the men.
“The women were not mentally prepared to compete at the level they needed to compete in,” Wilson said. “UOP just has more cannons that us.”
The women plan to regroup in the coming weeks as both teams prepare for the Big West Championship in the middle of February.