The UCSB women’s swimming team competed in its first meet as a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation this past weekend. The men’s team will play in the Pac-10 Championships tomorrow in Long Beach.

A new season in a new conference has
come to an end for the UCSB women’s
swimming and diving team, which took
second place in the Mountain Pacific Sports
Federation Championship this past weekend.
The Gauchos finished with 629 points.
With 726 points, UC Davis took first place.
“It was a lot bigger meet,” junior Kendall
Neely said. “There were a lot more people
to race against. We had a strong showing in
pretty much every event.”
UCSB’s underclassmen once again
secured the most points for the team,
which received strong performances from
multiple freshmen. Freshman Allie Knight
placed first in the 200-yard backstroke in
1:58.21, while freshman Andrea Ward
placed second in the long distance freestyle
event with a time of 16:49.91. Freshman
Sophia Yamauchi took second place in
the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of
Knight, Ward and Yamauchi set four new
school records between them. Still, the new
school records were not enough to
win the championship for UCSB.
“[The records] were very, very
good,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson
said. “I was hoping that we would
have a chance to win it but Davis’ kids
did very well.”
Davis graduates eight of its senior
women from this year’s squad, while
UCSB will only be losing three,
including diver Missy Burley. Burley
scored nine points on the weekend
for the Gauchos in her first conference
championship meet of her diving
career, and the first for the women’s
diving team in more than 10 years.
“You could tell when she was on the
board she looked like a diver,” Wilson said.
“That was nine more points than we’ve had
in the past 13 years.”
Men’s Swimming
The men’s swimming and diving team
will have its conference championship meet
this coming weekend. The meet will be the
first league championship for the Gauchos
as part of the Pac-10 conference.
“We are going to represent UCSB very
well and represent ourselves very well,”
Wilson said. “We’ll be as competitive as we
possibly can.”
UCSB men’s swimming has competed
against higher-ranked teams on more than
one occasion this season. The Gauchos lost
in a dual meet at USC in January, and lost
again on the road at UNLV the following
meet, when the Rebels were ranked #22 in
the nation.
“[Competing against better teams] gave
us a taste of what’s out there in the Pac-10,”
junior Chris Peterson said. “We know there’s
going to be some amazing competition.”
The strongest swims for the men’s team
all season have been its short-distance sprint
events. Swimmers such as Peterson have
been placing in the top-3 finishers in breaststroke,
backstroke and freestyle events all
season, and look forward to a productive
meet this weekend.
“A lot of us are strong sprinters,” Peterson
said. “We have a strong medley relay and
sprint relay, and our hopes are to score high
in those.”
The Pac-10 Championships begin
Wednesday, March 2 in Long Beach.