UCSB proved its power in the pool at the 2008 National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship by producing five All-American swimmers. Sophomore Anne Marie May dominated at the NCAA’s, coming in 3rd in the 50 freestyle.
“Despite scoring 36 points and placing 25th as a team, I am proud of everyone’s performance,” Wilson said. “I just told the girls they just needed to calm down and they just needed to do what they normally did to get them to compete at this meet. They were all nervous, but they hung in there, and they nailed everything. It is great for our program to have five All-American swimmers. It was an amazing experience.”
Junior Katy Freeman placed 11th in the 200-yard breaststroke with her time of 2:11.61 which also qualified her for the Olympic trials in Omaha this summer. Joining Freeman at the trials is freshman Sara Nicponski who placed 25th in the 200 breast with her time of 2:14.34. However, May gave the best performance of her collegiate career and Head Coach Gregg Wilson believes this is only the beginning.
“It was so exciting to see her swim because she nailed her start,” Wilson said. “She looked magnificent and she swam the fastest. When you saw her at the podium, she was smiling. She looked radiant. It was like watching a kid at the candy store. She was amazing.”
In addition to the 50 free, May placed 26th in the 100 free with her time of 49.13, which beat her school record of 49.34. Her time of 22.00 was the 18th fastest in the history of the NCAA Championship. With her strong performance, May will also travel to the Olympic trials. The Gaucho women also gained All-American swimmers in junior Erin Yamamoto and sophomore Naomi Javanifard for their brilliant performances in the 200 and 400 medley relays. In the 400 medley relay, Javanifard, Yamamoto, Nicponski and May swam to their All-American status with their time of 3:35.57. In the 200 relay, the women rallied again and placed 12th with their time of 1:39.96.
“It was so exciting and such a pleasure to swim out there,” May said. “I was pleased and nervous at the same time, but I just went out there and did what I had to do. It felt good to be out there with the rest of the girls and feel like we belonged there with the rest of the nation.”