The UCSB men and women’s swim team are headed to the desert this weekend for a dual meet against UNLV and Colorado State after a strong performance against Davis last week.
“We swam very well against Davis, but UNLV is a different story. Their men’s team is a little stronger than their women’s team,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We do feel confident that we will do well, but the men will push us more than their women.”
The women will have to swim double meets since Colorado State only has a women’s team. Even though the Gauchos have not competed with Colorado very often, Wilson assures his squad is up for the challenge and eager to swim with a great team.
“[Colorado] is very well coached. They are usually very good,” Wilson said. “But we are doing pretty well and we are ready to race.”
One challenge that the Gauchos may encounter is swimming in foreign territory. Competing in an indoor swimming pool and desert climate as opposed to the sunny outdoor Campus Pool may affect the Gauchos’ performance. However, UCSB proved to be ready for the adjustments last winter when it beat UNLV at its invitational.
UCSB encountered another problem this week when a few members fell ill to several sicknesses that may cause these swimmers to stay behind. Nevertheless, Wilson said he is confident that they have enough power and depth to get a victory from both meets.
“Having a few swimmers falling ill puts a damper in where we would want to be, but we carry the momentum from Davis and want to win,” senior captain Pat Cary said. “When we are at meets, we forget about being sick and focus on the meet and keep our eyes on the prize, which is to win.”
The Gaucho men gave a stellar performance against Davis, winning 165.5 to 96.5. Sophomore and two-time Big West Athlete of the Week Chris Good won three individual events, the 100 and 200 back with times of 52.24 and 1:50.99, and the 200 IM with a time of 1:54.27. Cary was a double event winner, winning the 200 free in 1:21.68 and the 100 fly in 49.81. Freshman Chris Wiggin gave a strong performance by winning the 200 fly in 1:53.37.
The Gaucho women also dominated Davis by winning 175 to 87. Sophomore and Big West Athlete of the Week Liz Wagner won three individual events, the 200 free, 200 back and the 200 IM with times of 1:52.33, 46.77 and 2:07.14. Freshman Anne Marie May won two individual events, easily swimming the 50 free in 24.25 and the 100 fly in 1:00.59.
Despite missing some key swimmers from last season, the Gaucho women are ready to take on UNLV and Colorado.
“We’re really excited even though we are down some people. We beat UNLV pretty badly at Invite and we want to do it again,” team captain and senior Katie Moeckel said. “For Colorado, it might be challenging because we’re missing some top guns, but the girls are stoked. As a whole, we are a better team and it will help us in the long run.”