This weekend, the Gaucho men showed that even though you can have impressive motion in the ocean, it doesn’t hurt to flaunt the size of your waves every once in a while.
In a tidal wave of a win at Campus Pool, the Gaucho men’s swim team capsized visiting Northridge on Saturday with a score of 179-78, coming back strong after a poor performance at the Big West Shootout in Irvine two weeks ago.
“It was good to see so many people on our team swim so well. We did not do well last time in Irvine, but they worked hard for the last three to four weeks and I’m very pleased with the results,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said.
Top Gaucho performers included junior Grant Hurst in freestyle, junior Patrick Ota in butterfly and sophomore Myles Peck in freestyle. All excelled in the relays as well, giving Santa Barbara a handful of 1-2-3 finishes.
Hurst won both the 50- and 500-meter freestyle events, with times of 21.89 and 4:40.68, respectively. Peck also won two freestyle events, dominating in the 100- and 1000-meter with times of 47.34 and 9:36.92, respectively. Ota also pitched in for the Gaucho effort with his first place 100-meter butterfly time of 51.99.
“My [100-m butterfly] was a good midseason time. I was really ready for it and I swam well,” Ota said. “Northridge definitely pressured us though, in some races. I give my hat off to them. Even though it was one of our less challenging meets, we really stepped up and came back after some bad performances in previous meets.”
The depth the Gauchos possess in every event was obvious in Saturday’s win, as some swimmers even took top places in strokes other than their specialties.
“We knew we’d be able to swim off-events,” Wilson said. “Northridge had a few great swimmers, but our depth was far superior. The results were basically what we expected coming in here.”
With top finishes from freshmen to seniors and sprints to distance, the Santa Barbara men took home a rise in confidence which should help them succeed in the rest of the season.
“All the men swam very well and it was pretty much a collective effort. We weren’t fantastic, but we were very good. It’s really encouraging to see them come back like that after Irvine,” Wilson said.