The UCSB swimming team will travel to Las Vegas to swim against UNLV on Saturday in a dual meet at the Buchanan Natatorium in their last dual meet of the season on the road.
The UNLV men are 5-0 in dual meet action this season, earning their first ever perfect conference record. The women are 4-2. For the Gauchos, the men’s and women’s teams are 4-1 and 5-2, respectively. Both teams cruised passed UC Davis in their last meet at Campus Pool on Jan. 17, with the men winning 168-94 and the women winning 154.5-87.5.
“[The Rebels] are fast,” Gaucho junior Anne Marie May said. “It’s a good opportunity for us to swim another really challenging team before we swim our conference meet.”
The dual meet against UNLV is the Gaucho’s second to last before the Big West Tournament in Long Beach on Feb. 25. For the Rebel men, the Gauchos will be their last foe before the Mountain West Tournament in Oklahoma City, while the women swim one more against New Mexico on Feb. 7. In the last meeting of the two teams, the UCSB women won 149-113 and the men narrowly won 133-129 at Campus Pool. However, UNLV swept both duals the last time the teams swam in Vegas in 2007.
“It’s a substantial trip,” May said about the six-hour drive to Sin City. “Being cooped up on a bus for that long does a number on our bodies. I’m glad we get to recoup [Friday night] before the meet.”
While many of the Gauchos’ best times were from the Husky Invitational in December, a meet that the team rested for, the Gaucho women hold the best times in 14 of the 19 Big West events. The men hold the best times in six of them, including the 200 and 400 medley relays. The team is also the only one in the Big West to meet the NCAA championship “B” qualifying standards, which are provisional qualifying times for the events.
Some of our male sprinters are starting to rest for our Big West meets,” May said. “We’ve been swimming well, I think. We’ve had a lot of good practices.”
or the Rebels, freshman Charlie Tapp earned Mountain West Men’s Swimmer of the Week honors after his sweeps of the 50 and 100 free events against Air Force on Jan. 16 and Wyoming on Jan. 17. Freshman Zsusanna Jakabos was named Mountain West Women’s Swimmer of the Week for her efforts during the week of Jan. 13 against TCU, where she posted a 4:21.22 time in the 400 IM – the third best time in UNLV history.