Coming off of a solid performance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Invite, the UCSB men’s and women’s swim teams are ready to dominate at home as they host the University of Southern California (1-1 overall for men, 2-2 overall for women) in a non-conference meet tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Campus Pool.
“It’s becoming a tradition to compete against [USC] at the beginning of winter quarter, and I couldn’t be happier because it is always an exciting meet,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “I love to put our kids with the best teams in the country. To be the best, you have to compete with the best.”
At last week’s UNLV Invite, the Gaucho men (4-1 overall) took first while the women (3-2 overall) came in second. With momentum on their side, the Gauchos are ready for this weeks challenge. Swimmers such as sophomore Anne Marie May and freshman Sara Nicponski have already obtained NCAA automatic bids for their times this season. Junior Chris Good found 200 to be his lucky number, as he took first place in the 200 back and 200 fly with his times of 1:48.81 and 1:51.51 respectively.
Although the Gauchos have been strong this season, the Trojans will represent a significant challenge. With six swimmers already reaching NCAA bids – including NCAA record holder junior Rebecca Soni – the Trojans are one of the top teams in the country. USC dominated December’s prestigious Husky Invite, with the women finishing first and the men finishing third.
“This is our fourth Pac-10 team we have faced this season, and with [USC], our relays beat them at the Husky Invite, so we are excited to face them,” senior captain Courtney Jenkins said. “It’s a great experience to compete with a team like USC because they compete hard, and we want to be at that level.”