It was the perfect end to a fantastic season as the UCSB men’s and women’s swim teams defeated conference foes UC Davis and the University of Pacific this weekend on the road. The Gaucho women (8-3 overall, 4-0 in the Big West) easily took down the Aggies 170-123 and the Tigers 136.5-125.5 while the men (9-1 overall, 4-0 Big West) secured their ninth consecutive win by beating Davis 156-138 and dominating Pacific 164-95.
Both Gaucho teams showed what solid powerhouses they have become with the women out in front against Davis (5-4, 2-2 Big West for men, 8-5, 3-3 Big West for women). Both teams started out the event by winning the 200-yard medley relay. Sophomore Jessica Schwalb showed the Gaucho depth by winning the 1000 yard freestyle in 10:35.19 with fellow freshman Kelsey Lewis taking second. Freshman Brittany Borowitz helped the Gauchos take an even bigger lead by winning the 200-yard butterfly with her time of 2:06.36. Sophomore Anne Marie May took first in the 50-free event in 23.71.
“It was such a great effort from the kids and the best way to finish the season before going into the Big West Championship,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “Our relays were working well, and our best swimmers stepped it up as well as our seconds. Our depth showed in the game against Davis, and it showed what our teams will bring to the Championships. I was proud of our efforts, and this shows how prepared we are and how much of a force we will bring to the Big West meet.”
Sophomore Scott Vogelgesang won the 200 free for the men in 1:41.56 while sophomore Joe Wood beat out the Aggies’ sophomore Russ Underwood for the 100 free with his time of 46.23. junior Chris Good easily swam to first in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:50.60. Keeping the momentum going, sophomore Danny McClary took first in the 200 Individual Medley in 1:51.92 with Borowitz echoing the same win for the women in 2:08.60. In the finale, the men were tied with Davis with 129 points, but their 1-3-4 finishes in the 200 IM and their 1-3 finish in the 400 free relay rallied 18 points to secure the win.
“It’s a lot of fun to see the kids go out and dominate the relays to start off the meet,” Wilson said. “The kids are getting accustomed to winning, and it keeps their momentum to win more individual events. [Junior Erin Yamamoto] has been excellent, and she has been keeping the women in the lead for the past three meets. The younger women are stepping up and [Borowitz] continues to shine in any place I put her. The kids train harder and harder each day, and it’s incredible to see them swim fast in practice, and swim even faster at the meets. It’s incredible.”
After the success against the Aggies, the Gauchos went for the sweep and nailed it against the Tigers (1-4, 1-2 Big West for men, 3-3, 2-1 in Big West for women). The women started off by winning the 200 medley relay with May, sophomore Naomi Javanifard, freshman Sara Nicponski and Yamamoto at the helm and clocking in at 1:43.70. Sophomore Matt Bartlett, junior Jeff Sudbury, McClary and senior co-captain Mason Edwards won the men’s version in 1:32.57. Vogelgesang repeated his win in the 200 free in 1:42.48 and Bartlett defeated Pacific’s senior Wojciech Betlej in the 100 back in 50.14. Sudbury and junior Travis Jepson completed a one-two finish in the 100 yard breaststroke in 57.57 and 58.31, respectively. May took the 50 free from Pacific’s junior Jenny Lewis in 23.57 and with one event to rest in between, she jumped back into the pool and took the 100 free in 51.82. Senior Curtis Bauer took first in the 50 free and claimed his first top mark of the season with his time of 21.29.
“[Pacific] has a decent women’s team, and they fought hard, but our women just wanted it more and swam faster,” Wilson said. “We knew we would have an easier time with the men, but our teams still train hard and fast. With dual meets, it can go either way, so you have to be prepared and ready for anything. Things can change fast, so you have to claim as many individual meets and relays as possible, which is what our kids did so well.”
Matsumoto won the 100 free in 46.67, and junior Katy Freeman fought hard to take the 200 breast from the Tiger’s senior Ziada Jardine with her time of 2:19.95. Jepson earned his second best mark of the season with his first place time of 2:03.98 in the 200 breast. Freshman Lindsay Gaudinier won the 500 free for the women in 5:03.46, followed by senior co-captain Brooks Felton who took first in the same event in 4:39.38. Yamamoto cruised her way to first in the 100 fly in 57.16 and sophomore Chris Wiggin won the 100 fly for the men.