Someone call the fire department – the UCSB swim teams are fired-up.
Returning home after a tough dual meet in Arizona last weekend, both the men’s (0-1) and women’s (2-2) teams will take on UCSD (men 0-1, women 0-2) Saturday morning.
The teams are looking to continue the fast pace they have set this year so far.
“The trick for us now is to keep the level of intensity up,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “The level of intensity, enthusiasm and energy – those things that we saw last week we still want to have this week.”
The Gaucho women, 2 for 3 against Pac-10 teams this season, split the dual meet last weekend, coming from behind to upset Arizona State and losing to Penn State.
Junior Jennifer Schwalb, last week’s Big West swimmer of the week, continued her outstanding season with a pair of NCAA consideration time swims in the 200 butterfly and the 200 IM. She took first place in both events.
Freshmen Jenisse Demeulenaere and Liz Wagner also won against Penn State and the Sun Devils, taking first place in the 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle respectively.
In the men’s dual meet, Arizona State narrowly beat out the UCSB squad with a last-second comeback in the 400 freestyle relay. The men are using the close loss as motivation.
“It’s always tough losing, especially by such a small margin,” senior team captain Garrett Porteous said. “We’ve definitely been busting ass in the pool this week.”
The men’s team finished with some strong individual races last weekend, sweeping the 100-meter backstroke and finishing first and second in the 200 freestyle.
“We’re definitely very proud, especially because a lot of our freshmen stepped up,” Porteous said.
While both UCSD teams have not won a dual meet this season, the Gauchos are not expecting easy victories this Saturday.
“We’re not treating it like it’s less of a meet than ASU,” Porteous said. “We’re going to come with the same attitude. A meet’s a meet and we want to do as well as possible.”
Wilson added that although UCSD is a Division II club, they cannot afford to take their visitors lightly.
“This is a very well-coached Division II school,” Wilson said. “They make the most of the talent they have on the team.”
Besides focusing on this weekend’s meet, the Gauchos continue to look forward to the rest of the season.
“Our main goal is to take the team to the NCAA,” Porteous said. “That’s our top goal.”
With the quick times the teams have been posting so far this season, it’s easy to see why the Gauchos are thinking big.
“Because of the work ethic of this team, and because of the maturity level of the seniors, we’re going to do very well,” Wilson said.
The dual meet begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at Campus Pool.