Naptime is for kindergarteners, not the Gaucho swim team.

After a full week of hard practice and an early morning drive to Irvine, the UCSB men’s and women’s swim squads arrived at the Big West Shootout and hardly missed a beat.

“We trained all throughout the week and were pretty tired going into it,” sophomore backstroke and freestyle participant Jamie Warm said. “That showed, but we did well as a group.”

The meet was Santa Barbara’s second outing of the 2004-05 season and displayed some of the strength behind the men’s and women’s squads, currently ranked first and second in the Big West, respectively.

Coach Gregg Wilson drove the teams hard all week long, and treated this meet as a season warm-up and not a must-win situation.

“When our big meets come around, we need to rest so we have the energy,” Warm said.

The men’s sophomores contributed many points, while fighting off exhaustion, to the team’s preseason effort. Pat Cary took first in the 200 fly and 100 fly on day one of the shootout, Dan Leelachat took first in the 200 breast and second in the individual medley on day one, and Jamie Warm took second in the 50 free.

“It was a little rushed,” Warm said. “We didn’t go down there the night before – we just went down there and had a three hour bus ride [that morning].”

Even with the impressive under-rested efforts of the men’s squad, the men are not counting their chickens – or league championships – before they hatch.

“In general, I think the team has seen better days,” Leelachat said. “But that’s understandable because we’d been working hard the whole week, and I’m pretty sure we can make a comeback [later this season].”

On the women’s end, senior Lindsay Dalonzo barely missed first place by two tenths of a second in the 100 back (and also finished second in the 200 back) on day one, sophomore Jennifer Schwalb took second in the 200 fly and third in the individual medley on day one, and senior Emily Murad took third in the 1650.
“When our big meets come around, we need to rest so we have the energy,” Warm said.

The shootout included an array of teams outside of the Big West who posed serious competition for the Gauchos. These teams included Air Force, Washington and Hawaii.

Out of the Big West, however, weekend host Irvine established itself as the Gauchos’ biggest competition this season.

“I think we are right on track [in upholding our #1 ranking in the Big West],” Warm said. “We’re swimming faster than we were last year. We’re just going to have to watch Irvine and stay on top of them.”