UCSB swimming and diving faced its toughest competition of the season so far when Cal Poly came to Campus Pool on Saturday. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished the meet with overall victories, 155-141 and 157-141 respectively.
[media-credit id=20138 align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]Head Coach Gregg Wilson knew that the majority of the points for the Gauchos would be scored during the swim events, as the UCSB diving program is still in its beginning stages.
“Missy [Burley] and our men divers will keep getting better every time,” Wilson said.
Burley finished third in the three-meter diving competition, and fourth in the one-meter. Sophomore Max Brookman placed third in one-meter diving, and senior diver Trevor Hough placed third in the three-meter events.
UCSB made up for missed points in diving by winning the first swim event of the day, the 400-meter medley relay. The men’s team of junior Ryan Garcia, junior Kevin Ferguson, sophomore Max Horrell and junior Chris Peterson posted a score of 3:19.78, more than eight seconds faster than the Cal Poly relay team.
A big surprise for the Gauchos during the meet came from Ferguson, who usually swims backstroke events. He posted a time of 55.48 seconds in the 100-meter breaststroke, which at the time of publishing ranks fourth fastest in the nation. Ferguson also won the 100-meter freestyle in 44.95.
“[Kevin] swam awesome,” junior Evan Simoni said. “I think how fast he swam inspired people to get going and pick up their times.”
Wilson has been adamant about the strength of UCSB’s sprint events, and the team proved him right this weekend. Among the short distance event winners were Peterson, who posted a time of 23.28 in the 50-meter freestyle, and Horrell who took first place in both the 200-meter fly and 100-meter fly with times of 1:52.81 and 50.26. For the women, Neely won the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 23.28, while freshman Allie Knight placed first in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 57.67. Two first-place finishes by both the men and women in the 400-meter freestyle relay secured an overall victory for UCSB. The men posted a time of 2:59.48, much to the excitement of both the crowd and Wilson.
“Before they started, I thought our last relay could go under three minutes, and it did,” Wilson said. “That’s very good.”