Following a grueling three days of swimming, the UCSB swim team completed its first invitational of the season on Saturday. The Gaucho women were able to take sixth place with a total of 241 points and the men grabbed fifth place with a total of 261 points.

California placed first for the women with 1,278 points. In the men’s competition, Stanford took first with 1,262 points.

“The team mentality is excellent and we know how hard we have worked,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “It was a great opportunity for the team to travel and get used to a three-day format because it is a lot of swimming.”

The Gauchos would find success early on day one with junior Heren Alanis swimming the 500-yard freestyle. Alanis qualified for the finals in the B group with a time of 4:57.95 in preliminaries. She would put on a dazzling performance in the finals, setting a school record and shaving four seconds off her best time as she placed first in the group with a time of 4:47.48.

Senior captain Sophia Yamauchi also swam well for the women as she placed first in the 200-yard IM preliminaries with a time of 2:01.70. Yamauchi would go on to earn fifth overall in the group A finals with a time of 2:01.91.

The men found success late on day one with a fourth place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay as senior Alex Campbell, senior Lucas Norman, junior Chase Lemley and junior Chris Dotson combined to finish with a time of 1:21.56.

Junior Carissa Metcalf and freshman Jiana Vargem both qualified for the group A finals on day two in the 100-yard breaststroke with preliminary times of 1:02.86 and 1:03.68, respectively. Metcalf would go on to place third with a time of 1:02.55, while Vargem finished in sixth with a time of 1:03.95.

For the men, sophomore Mickey Mowry would produce a strong performance in the preliminaries of the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.16. In the Group B finals Mowry would come in second (10th overall) with a time of 49.29.

The men’s 100-yard backstroke also provided some excellent swimming, as sophomore Josh Smith placed first in the group B final (ninth overall) with a time of 50.04. Senior Randy Aakhus placed first in the C final (17th overall) with a time of 52.46.

Four Gauchos qualified for group A finals swims on the final day. For the men, Smith qualified in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:50.58, Norman qualified in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.78 and Mowry qualified in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:47.37. Alanis qualified for the women in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:02.34.

“We’re very well off right now,” Norman said. “We have quite a few swimmers who can compete at the highest level in the Pac-12.”

UCSB swimmers will next compete at the Texas Swim Invitational on Dec. 5.


A version of this article appeared on page 6 of November 25,2013’s print edition of The Daily Nexus.