In what was one of the most anticipated and closest meets of the season, both UCSB men’s and women’s swim teams defeated Cal Poly in an away meet last Saturday. With many swimmers out for both teams due to illness, the Gaucho men narrowly prevailed with a score of 152.5 to 137.5 while the women also came out on top with an impressive score of 172 to 122.
“It was a good performance and it [the win] was very important because they’re really good swimmers.” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said.
The Gauchos knew it would be a tough meet because Cal Poly has some individual swimmers that are among the best in the country and, unfortunately, UCSB was down even before they got in the water.
“The big thing they have is diving. When we walked on the deck we were behind 32 to nothing,” Wilson said, referring to the fact that the score from Cal Poly’s diving team counted toward the overall score of the meet. Knowing this, the Gaucho’s strong relay teams got UCSB to a quick start off the blocks with both the men and the women winning their respective races in the 200 medley.
However, the Gauchos struggled in the distance swims and Cal Poly was able to dominate both the 1000 and 500 freestyle as well as the shorter 100 breaststroke. But the Gauchos came right back with impressive performances in both the men’s and women’s 200 butterfly. The men took the top four spots in the race with senior Chris Wiggin finishing first with a time of 1:50.88. For the women it was a one-two finish, junior Mariana Prutton, finishing first with a time of 2:05.36, and junior Brittany Borowitz taking second place with a time of 2:06.91.
UCSB also won most of the sprint events. The men took first and second place in the 50-yard freestyle, sophomore Chris Peterson coming in first (20.73) and sophomore Kevin Kuhn finishing second (21.33). In the same event, the women grabbed the top four spots. Senior Anne Marie May, named last week’s Big West Swimmer of the Week, touched first for the Gauchos with a time of 23.94. In the 100-yard freestyle, it was again Peterson and May, who came in first for UCSB.
The Gauchos ended the meet with wins in both the men’s and women’s 400-yard freestyle relays. The men’s ‘A’ relay team took fist place while the women’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ relay teams came in first and second, respectively.
This secured the victory for the Gauchos, proving they are among the best in their conference.
“Swimming is so objective, that’s why I like it,” Wilson said. “You do the time, you get the rewards. You’re not counting on someone else.”