Feb. 28, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's and women's swim teams successfully defended their conference crowns as they completed action at the 2009 Big West Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday evening at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.
The Gaucho women won their 13th conference title and their fourth consecutive. The men picked up their 28th title and their second straight.
On the final day of the meet, the Gauchos collectively won seven event titles, set four meet records, three conference records and four school records, which included breaking the longest standing UCSB record in the books.
The evening began with the women's 1650 freestyle. Meagan Brown was the Gauchos' top finisher in the event coming in third with a time of 17:05.35, a personal best mark. Astrid Amsallem finished fourth behind her teammate, touching the wall in 17:07.78.
Chris Good followed with the first Big West title of the day for UCSB in the men's 200 back. The senior broke his own school record in the event after touching the wall in 1:45.40. Ryan Garcia placed third, finishing in 1:47.35 and Joe Plume took eighth in a time of 1:53.27.
Anne Marie May followed with a win in the 100 freestyle. The junior set a new Big West Championship meet record in the event with a mark of 48.91. Nadia Dwidar finished second in 50.11 and Courtney Bauer was fifth, touching the wall in 50.57. Freshman Sasza Lohrey won the consolation final in a time of 51.77 and Kendall Neely picked up points for the Gauchos after taking 11th with a time of 52.01.
The men's 100 free final was Gaucho-filled with six of the eight qualifiers swimming for UCSB. Kevin Kuhn came out on top, touching the wall in 43.74, just .01 seconds shy of making the NCAA Championships "B" qualifying standard. Bradley Matsumoto (44.09), Kevin Ferguson (44.39), Scott Vogelgesang (44.50), Joe Wood (44.69) and Jeff Sudbury (44.70) took third through seventh place, respectively. Dan Morris rounded out the point scorers in the event as he took 11th overall in a time of 44.75 during the consolation final.
Not to be outdone by the men, it was then the women's turn to shine, and they did when Katy Freeman broke the school, conference and meet record in the 200 breaststroke with a mark of 2:09.12, which is a NCAA Championship "A" qualifying standard. Sara Nicponski took third in 2:11.50, a personal best time by almost three seconds. Carri Cook (2:21.87) took 10th in the event and Laurel Ferguson picked up points for the Gauchos with her 14th place finish, touching the wall in 2:26.79.
In the final women's individual event of the meet, senior Erin Yamamoto captured first place in the 200 butterfly. She finished in 2:00.96. Teammates Kelsey Lewis (2:02.45) and Brittany Borowitz (2:04.33) finished fifth and seventh.
Danny McClary followed with a second place finish in the men's 200 fly. He touched in 1:45.49, which is a NCAA "B" qualifying standard. Jon Kraetsch (1:48.19), Chris Wiggin (1:49.87) and Mitchell Long (1:51.45) took fourth through sixth place in the event's final.
To end the women's action at the meet, the UCSB 400 free relay team of Dwidar, Javanifard, Bauer and May set a new meet, conference and school record (and took the event title) with a time of 3:18.76, beating the record they set earlier this season at the Husky Invitational by a second and a half.
The men's team of Kuhn, Matsumoto, Ferguson and Vogelgesang followed suit winning the 400 free relay by over two seconds. The Gauchos posted a time of 2:54.93, which is a new meet, conference and school record. In fact, that time breaks longest standing school record (26 years). The team of Tim Roche, Richard Schroeder, Middleton and Ken Neff has held the UCSB record in that event with a time of 2:57.88 since 1983. The new record meets the NCAA "B" qualifying standard.
The UCSB women finished the meet with 880 points, 135 ahead of second place UC Davis. The Gaucho men won the meet with 849.5 points; just 17 points ahead of second place UC Davis, which had divers competing.
The Gauchos will be back in action at the NCAA Championships being held at Texas A&M during the weeks of Mar. 19-21 (women) and Mar. 26-28 (men).
- UCSBgauchos.com -