The UCSB women’s swim team captured the conference title at the 2007 Big West swimming and diving championships this weekend, the 11th title for the squad. The women won with a combined score of 844.5, while the men took second place behind UC Irvine with a combined score of 727.5.

“It was a really fun and exciting meet. The women were awesome and the men did well, but they got beat by Irvine who had a dominant meet,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “It was bittersweet with the women getting first and the men second. We knew it was going to be tough, but we got kids winning events. The women came together and they showed team momentum. The women kept pushing and pushing, and it was a lot of fun.”

The Gauchos and Anteaters claimed the majority of the awards during the four-day event. UC Irvine’s Randall Tom was named Men’s Swimmer of the Year, and the Gauchos picked up two Freshman of the Year awards for Scott Vogelgesang and Anne Marie May. Wilson was named Women’s Coach of the Year.

“I’m very grateful for [being named Coach of the Year], but it is a reflection of our program. It is a shared title with all of my coaching staff, and I appreciate the recognition,” Wilson said. “Anne Marie May was spectacular. It was shock and awes at the arena when she swam. She is just scratching the surface and it will be fun to see her performances in the future.”

Pacific took second for the women with a score of 678, followed by Irvine in third with a 631 mark, and Davis in fourth with 558 points. UCSB easily took the 100-meter freestyle when May touched the wall with a time of 50.71, which was also a NCAA provisional qualifying time. The women secured their title when they won the 400-meter relay with a time of 3:23:07, which was another NCAA provisional qualifying time.

On the first day of the event the women broke three school records. The 800-meter free relay team of senior captain Jennifer Schwalb and sophomores Liz Wagner, Erin Yamamoto and Nadia Dwidar finished with a time of 7:18:84. Schwalb also set a new record for the 200-meter free with a time of 1:49:35, beating Kim Bryson’s record of 1:49.45 set in 1988. May, Schwalb, sophomore Katy Freeman and sophomore Jamie Lathers also broke a school record for the 200-meter relay with a time of 1:42.57.

The Gaucho men took second behind Irvine’s first place score of 820.5. Davis finished in third with 660 combined points, and Pacific came in fourth with 596. Sophomore Bradley Matsumoto won the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 44.23, capturing a consideration time for the NCAA. Vogelgesang also broke a school record with his time in the 800-meter free relay of 1:37:76, and the relay team captured the victory with a time of 6:34:89. That team consisted of Vogelgesang, senior captain Pat Cary and seniors Myles Peck and Scott Lindberg.

“The men met our expectations, and to see our seniors put everything together was amazing,” Wilson said. “Irvine over exceeded our expectations and we need to go to the drawing board and work on what we need to improve for next year. They stepped it up and they never gave up. It was great.”