The UCSB swimming team has yet to compete in a meet this early in the season, but according to Head Coach Gregg Wilson, the men’s and women’s teams are deep into the final sessions of their training camp, which began Sept. 7. However, following an intensive practice this Saturday, Oct. 7, the team hosts its annual alumni meet, a fun and competitive reward for the hard work the swimmers have endured in the past month.
“We have a really fun weekend planned this weekend. The alumni meet is always a very good and very special event,” Wilson said.
Among those in attendance are several former world record holders including former UCSB swimmer Jason Lezak who has competed on the last two U.S. Olympic teams. Another alumnus competing in Saturday’s event is Richard Schroeder who was on the Olympic teams in the 1984 and 1988 games.
The meet begins with 50-yard relays, which will be family races, and later the newly recruited freshmen athletes will line up against the Olympians and one-time world record holders of the alumni team in a test of new talent versus the talent of yore.
Wilson is optimistic at this point that his freshmen athletes – on both the women’s and men’s teams – will fare well and make major contributions throughout the season. Among the newcomers is freshman Jessica Schwalb, the younger sister of the women’s team captain and most valuable player for the last two seasons, senior Jen Schwalb.
“Jess has really done a very good job,” Wilson said. “Coming up we didn’t know what to expect from the freshmen, but they are all reacting really well. We’re really pleased with all of the freshmen.”
First-year Carri Cook has also shown promising results and is another swimmer in a family line of Gauchos, her sister being last year’s women’s team captain.
“Carri Cook has really stepped it up and done very well for the women,” Wilson said.
Wilson also acknowledged the male freshmen as a big help in the pool, contributing to the experienced athletes, namely senior Pat Cary who qualified this summer to represent the United States in the Pan American Games to be held next summer in Brazil.
Following the alumni meet, the women’s team has its first intercollegiate meet at UCLA on Oct. 13 in a three-way matchup with UCLA and Oregon State. This meet is an annual event for the three schools held during the start of the season; last year it was held at UCSB and it switches every year.
“Last year we were able to beat Oregon State, but this year they have really improved while UCLA is a little down this year,” Wilson said. “But they are both really strong teams.”
Following the UCLA meet is parents’ weekend beginning Saturday, Oct. 14. This will be an inter-squad meet where both the men’s team and the women’s will be divided into blue and gold teams and will race against their teammates as the parents look on.
“[The inter-squad meet] is really pretty fun and very, very competitive,” Wilson said.
Both the men and women will hit the lanes tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Campus Pool.