After a solid performance last weekend at Campus Pool, the UCSB men’s and women’s swimming teams head out on the road in search of another victory against nonconference competitor Cal State Bakersfield. Both Gaucho squads defeated UC San Diego (1-2 women, 0-3 men) and Cal Poly (1-1 women, 1-1 men teams) at last week’s friendly meet.
Santa Barbara (3-2 women, 2-1 men) has been on a hot streak within the pool, capturing all relay events and garnering more individual wins than last year’s team. Both the men and women’s 200 medley relay teams took first place with their times of 1:34.12 and 1:49.05, respectively. In addition, the Gauch women had an extra boost with junior Jessica Cruzat’s stellar performance. Not only did Cruzat compete in the 200 medley relay, she also took first place in the 200 free and 200 back. For the men, juniors Chris Good and Jeff Sudbury contributed greatly to the victory by winning the 200 fly, 400 IM, 50 free and 200 breast in record times. As a collective group, every member is pulling their own weight, which is something Head Coach Gregg Wilson is proud of.
“I’m really pleased with everybody’s energy and their fast times,” Wilson said. “Our sophomore class for both men and women is really phenomenal. It’s really encouraging to see the kids swimming fast and getting wins. [Cruzat] had a tough year last year, but she has been a consistent swimmer. She has so much energy and motivation that it helps not only her, but also the entire team. We all have been working and training hard in order to win.”
CSUB men’s team (1-0) had a strong weekend, defeating the Triton in nine out of 12 events with help from junior Henry Holmberg and senior Alexy Belyy. Holmberg took the 1000 free with his time of 9:38.88, beating out Belyy by 18 seconds and easily cruised through the 200 fly in 1:54.53. Belyy notched first place in the 100 breast with his time of 59.62. The Roadrunners finished strong, and they will be looking to capture a second win against the Gauchos.
On the opposite side of the pool, the women (0-1) were defeated by the Tritons. However, sophomore Astrid Amsallem, who won the 1000 free in 10:59.32 despite being sick, gave a strong performance. She also placed first in the 500 free in 5:20.65. Junior captain Lexie Kelly won the 200 fly in 2:13.25, narrowly defeating her UCSD opponent.
“We haven’t swum with them in three years, but it will be a good meet,” Wilson said. “They have separate men and women’s coaches, but I feel like the women will not pose a threat. The men have a decent team, but I feel like we have the depth that will make it hard for them to beat us. The kids will swim in one or two primary events and a couple of off-events to give our starters a break.”