After Friday’s frustrating loss to Arizona in Tucson, the UCSB men’s swimming team swam laps around the inferior Division II UC San Diego squad on Saturday, routing the Tritons 172-84 thanks in large part to senior Pat Cary’s three individual event wins. Santa Barbara’s women also showcased their Division I superiority, grabbing a 142-112 victory against the Tritons in UCSB’s first home meet of the season.

Arizona’s Hillenbrand Aquatic Center proved menacing to the Gauchos, who only managed to record one individual first-place victory in the day. Sophomore Chris Good took home the Gauchos’ lone victory in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:06.57.

The Wildcats were able to dominate the rest of the afternoon, allowing UCSB to only notch a handful of individual second-place finishes. Aside from Good’s standout performance, freshmen Chris Wiggin, Jonathan Kraetsch and Daniel McClary were able to grab the third, fourth and fifth spots, respectively, in the 100 butterfly. Even with strong performances by Santa Barbara in the 200 breaststroke and 200 freestyle relays, Arizona’s diving team gave the Wildcats an edge in their undisputed victory.

Saturday marked the first home meet for both the men’s and women’s teams, who faced Division II powerhouse San Diego at Campus Pool. Bouncing back from the heartfelt loss to the Wildcats, UCSB manhandled the Tritons just like Cary predicted last week.

Along with his three individual wins in the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly and 200 IM, Cary was also a part of the winning 200 medley relay squad, which consisted of senior Doug Formby and juniors Ben Malcolm and Curtis Bauer. Other top performers for the Gauchos included Myles Peck, who grabbed first-place finishes in the 200 backstroke and freestyle events, Brent Nolan, whose 9:40.65 in the 1,000 free was 23 seconds faster than the best Triton opponent and Malcolm, the only swimmer to break the minute mark in the 100 backstroke.

UCSB’s women had a slightly tougher time toppling the Tritons – with many Gauchos swimming off-events – but were still able to place first in seven events. In the 1,000 free, UCSB grabbed the top three spots thanks to senior Jennifer Schwalb and sophomores Kaelan Dickinson and Kaitlin Freeman, whose times of 10:53.13, 10:57.92 and 11:14.61, respectively, left the remaining Tritons drowning in their wakes.

Sophomore Jessica Cruzat contributed to two of the Gauchos’ individual event wins, grabbing first place honors in the 200 butterfly as well as the 500 free with a time of 5:06.52, a full five seconds ahead of the freshman Cailin McLennan. Sophomore Jamie Lathers was the only swimmer under 60 seconds in the 100 backstroke and junior Ashley Whalen was the only Gaucho to crack the top five in the 200 IM, but won the race by a full six seconds with a time of 2:11.77.

The only Triton highlight on the day was their control over the 200 freestyle relays, as both the men’s and women’s A and B squads were able to edge all three Santa Barbara teams in both events.
– Jeff Gibson