After a successful performance at the Husky Invite on Dec. 1, the UCSB men’s and women’s swimming teams gave stellar performances at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 17, garnering individual and team wins. The men (4-1 overall) took first place out of seven competitors with their overall score of 740 points, while the women’s side (4-2) took second out of nine with 818 points.
“The men had a spectacular performance and an excellent meet despite having so many of our swimmers with illnesses,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We didn’t get as many individual wins as we wanted, but it was a great team effort. The women lost in diving, which we knew coming into the meet, but they did outstanding. It was a great way to end Fall Quarter.”
Depth was the name of the game, as UCSB saw their best action with their relays and long distance swimmers. In addition, the Gauchos saw strong performances from sophomore Anne Marie May, whose time of 49.34 in the 100 free gave her first place and an NCAA automatic bid, as she broke her original UCSB time of 50.10. Junior Chris Good took home two individual victories on the men’s side, winning the 200 back in 1:48.81 and the 200 fly in 1:51.51. Juniors Bradley Matsumoto and Katy Freeman continued the Gauchos’ winning streak by winning the 100 free and the 200 breast, respectively.
“It was an interesting meet because we would have mediocre swims in the morning, but we would swim incredibly fast at night,” Wilson said. “It was hard and frustrating because the kids had to do well in the morning – but they didn’t – but we pulled through and each night, we would go out there and swim fast. We have great depth and we won a lot of relays.”
The Gauchos showed their relay power by winning the men’s and women’s 400 free relays. The women’s relay, consisting of juniors Nadia Dwidar and Erin Yamamoto along with sophomore Courtney Bauer and May swam to first in 3:22.88, while the men’s relay with senior Curtis Bauer, Matsumoto, sophomore Scott Vogelgesang, and freshman Dan Morris easily cruised to first in 3:01.47. The women’s 200 medley relay of Jessica Cruzat, freshman Sara Nicponski, Yamamoto, and May clinched first with their time of 1:44.32.
The women’s “B” relay team, made up of sophomores Naomi Javanifard and Katie Ure, Freeman, and Bauer, followed behind by placing second with their time of 1:45.91. The men’s 400 medley relay consisting of Matsumoto, junior Jeff Sudbury, sophomore Danny McClary, and Vogelgesang took second with their time of 3:22.65. Freshman Brittany Borowitz claimed third in the 200 fly with 2:07.15, while sophomore Chris Wiggin took third in the 200 fly in 1:52.57 for the men.
“Having won the majority of the relays puts us in a good position, but we want to go faster to get some of our relays in the NCAA automatic bid time, and we are close,” Wilson said. “In addition, we got six weeks until the Big West Championships, so I want the kids to be ready, both mentally and physically, so the upcoming weeks will be fun and exciting because they will have to swim beyond what they have been swimming and explore things they have never done before.”
After a long break, the Gauchos will return on Jan. 12 to Campus Pool to face USC (1-1 for men, 2-2 for women) in a nonconference match.