The UCSB men’s and women’s swimming teams both lost their dual matches at the Trojan’s McDonald’s Swim Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
After Saturday’s 120-85 loss, the men’s team is now 3-1 in dual match action. The women’s 112-88 loss puts the Gauchos at 4-2. The men beat the Trojans 148-57 in last year’s home meet.
“If you look at the times [from] two years ago, we did much better yesterday than we’ve ever done at SC’s pool,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We had some difficulty swims in our distance freestyles with both the men and the women, but we’re gonna do better. We’re working hard. We have to be able to get up every day and race, and that’s a tough thing to do.”
Before Saturday’s dual meet matches, the Gauchos had not competed since the weekend of Dec. 4 at the Husky Invitational, in which the men’s and women’s teams both earned third place. The USC women finished first at the tournament.
On Saturday, the Gauchos clinched six first-place finishes. Junior Ann Marie May and senior Bradley Matsumoto both finished first in the 50 freestyle, with times of 23.10 and 20.62, respectively. Senior Jeff Sudbury trailed Matsumoto by .02 in the event, finishing in second place with a time of 20.64. In the 100 meter free, Matsumoto came in second place with a time of 45.41, .01 seconds behind senior Joe Wood. Senior captain Chris Good took first in the 200 backstroke, and junior Travis Jepson finished first in the 200 breaststroke.
“Jepson [swam] his best of the season in the breaststroke – technically and mechanically,” Wilson said. “And I love it that the seniors are stepping up. I wasn’t upset about the loss. I took it in stride. I voiced my concern over the distance groups and now they’ll go after it.”
In the distance events, sophomore Astrid Amsallem finished in third behind two USC swimmers, with a time of 10:26.35, earning the best finish of all the UCSB distance event swimmers. She was followed by freshman Meagan Brown, who posted a time of 10:28.43. For the men and women’s events, Brown also placed the highest out of any Gaucho freshman, finishing third in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:07.22.
“We took away some very good efforts from the match,” Wilson said. “Anything you can get out of the freshmen bodes well for the future.”
In the relays, the Gauchos’ “A” 400 free relay team of senior Nadia Dwidar and juniors Courtney Bauer, Naomi Javanifard and Anne Marie May finished in first with a time of 3:25.37. UCSB’s “B” relay team came in second in the event, followed by USC’s two relay teams. Dwidar also finished third in the 50 freestyle event and second in the 100 freestyle.
“Nadia’s an excellent swimmer,” Wilson said. “We depend on her and she always come through for us.”
The Gauchos will play their next match against UC Davis at Campus Pool Jan. 17 for their first home meet of 2009.