It was a successful weekend for the UCSB swimming program as both the men’s and women’s teams earned wins over Davis in a dual meet showdown Saturday at Campus Pool.
The Gauchos put on an impressive performance against their Big West rivals in front of a raucous crowd that included the UCSB track and field team. Sophomores Chris Good and Liz Wagner won three individual events on the day, helping the Gauchos earn a 165.5-96.5 win for the men and a 175-87 victory for the women.
“It was a very good showing for the men and women Gauchos,” UCSB Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “It’s hard to get on the road and come into a hostile arena. We struggled last year when we went up north and I think [Davis] struggled down here. ”
Davis took an early lead on the men’s squad with a narrow win in the 200-yard medley relay, earning 11 team points. The Aggies then picked up nine points when sophomore Scott Weltz used a late push to overcome a strong run by UCSB junior Brooks Felton in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
Despite the Aggies’ early success, the Gauchos used their depth to overpower Davis in the majority of the day’s remaining individual events, with five different swimmers scoring individual victories. Good earned three wins: the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley.
Senior Pat Cary took two events at the meet, winning the 200-yard freestyle and dominating the rest of the field by nearly three seconds in the 100-yard butterfly.
“Davis has some really good swimmers, but they don’t have as much as they need to win a dual meet like this,” Wilson said. “Our depth was clearly seen and our strength was pretty evident.”
The women’s team had a dominant showing, winning the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay, as well as nine individual events. Wagner shined with three individual wins: the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley. Defending Big West Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Week Anne Marie May won two events for the Gauchos: the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly.
“The ladies last year got thumped pretty good at Davis – they beat us by over 30 points,” Wilson said. “But they graduated 10 women and we graduated four, so what you have is a pretty big discrepancy.”
The Gauchos have just two more meets until the Big West Championships in February. In two weeks they will travel to Las Vegas to face the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and on Feb. 3 they will play Pacific in their final appearance at Campus Pool.
“I feel very good and very confident about where our men and women are,” Wilson said. “However the beginning of the meet just proves that it’s not going to be easy, as Davis came out going for it. I think it was, in some ways, eye-opening. No one’s going to roll over and let us win. We have to earn it.”