UCSB looks forward to an exciting week in the water as freshman Anne Marie May and senior captain Jennifer Schwalb from the women’s swim team represent the Gauchos at the NCAA Nationals. Senior captain Pat Cary from the men’s swim team will also represent the Gauchos next week when the men’s NCAA Nationals takes place.
“We are very excited. Tomorrow is a big day,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “They are swimming in their preliminaries. The top 16 that place get points. We would like to get on that scoreboard. Last, and this is my personal goal, we would like them to score higher than other Big West schools.”
For Schwalb, this is her third NCAA appearance. As a veteran, Schwalb will take May under her wing since this is her first NCAA appearance. Both women have been spectacular throughout the season, with May surprising spectators at the 2007 Big West Swimming and Diving Championships. The women’s team claimed the championship thanks in part to May’s qualifying time of 50.71 in the 100 freestyle and her automatic qualifying time of 22.61 in the 50 freestyle. May was also named Freshman of the Year, along with teammate Scott Vogelgesang. Schwalb has been a consistently strong swimmer and the backbone of the Gauchos, recording five individual school records this season.
“[Schwalb’s] best is the 200 butterfly, and she knows the meet. The last two years she’s been here by herself. It’s great that she has someone else to be with her. She’s an experienced veteran, so she wants to do the best. Anne is a freshman, so it’s refreshing and fun to be with them,” Wilson said. “The girls have to go faster in this meet. Qualifying is already difficult because you have to go fast, so they have to improve their time, even if it’s by a little.”
Cary will carry the torch for the men’s team next week, where he will compete in the 100 and 200 fly. In his four years, Cary has dominated in the butterfly events. At last year’s NCAA, he was All-American in the 100 fly and he placed fifth in the nation in the 200 fly. In the preliminaries at the Olympic Swimming Complex at Georgia Tech last year, Cary recorded a 1:44.28 in the 200 fly, shocking and amazing the spectators in the crowd. Wilson is confident that Cary will not disappoint this year.
“The difference with Pat is he was an All-American last year, but he is an experienced finalist. We are trying to get a higher placing and faster time. We want Pat to be ready,” Wilson said. “He’s going to be there by himself this year, but he is an experienced veteran and he will do very well.”