The UCSB’s women’s swim and dive team traveled to Monterey Park, California on Wednesday to compete in the MPSF Championships. Diving Championships will begin today in Colorado Springs and both legs of competition will hold final events on Saturday.

“We’ve been competing under some tough conditions on the road over the last several weeks,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We’re planning on being even more prepared for conference after this quarter’s challenges.”

The first event of the Championships is the 200 Medley Relay finals beginning at 6:00 PM on Wednesday. The 800 Freestyle Relay is also on Wednesday, setting the stage for competition on a majority of events to get underway on Thursday. UCSB expects to be competitive in all events and has a shot at first place as a team.

Junior Andrea Ward is the reigning MPSF Athlete of the Year, and is coming off a dominant Senior Weekend performance in which she won three events and set the top conference time in the 100 butterfly (54.08).

Another junior, Sophia Yamauchi also looks to take home some victories this week. Yamauchi holds the top MPSF times for the 200 Individual Medley (1:59.29) and 200 Breaststroke (2:12.78), putting her in a position to win conference and compete in nationals.

“The mood of the whole team is positive, and we’re really excited to start competition with the relays tonight,” Yamauchi said. “We’re looking out for all teams, especially Davis, Poly and Hawaii, but we’re ready for all of our hard work to pay off.”

Sophomore Heren Alanis is another swimmer to watch out for, boasting top school times for the 200 freestyle (1:49.48), 500 freestyle (4:51.88), 1000 freestyle (10:18.04), 1650 freestyle (17:29.18) and 400 IM (4:20.07).

In the backstroke, look for junior Allie Knight to lead the way and compete for wins. Knight holds the top school time in the 100 (55.62), and her time of 1:59.19 in the 200 has put her in the conversation for national consideration.

Freshman Hannah Tomp will lead the way for the diving team, after recording a season high score of 235.00 to lead the team in the one-meter dive competition.

Senior Emma Hunt will not compete after suffering a torn rotator cuff on Monday. It is a disappointing end to an impressive UCSB career, but Hunt will continue to be a leader for this team during championships.

“Hawaii is strong where we’re weak, but we have the depth to beat them. BYU has good divers but we can outswim them. And as usual, Davis seems to be our toughest competition,” Hunt said. “The past year of training comes down to this meet, and I know we will do great things. I am so excited to cheer on this team.”

In addition, men’s Pac-12 Diving Championships begin Feb. 28.

A version of this article appeared on page 10 of February 21st 2013′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo by Adam Lugowski/Daily Nexus.