Gaucho Swimming's Big West Preview

Feb. 15, 2006

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Both the men's and the women's teams have embarked to Long Beach, California for the Big West Swimming and Diving Conference Championship meet. The meet starts Wednesday February 15 and continues with prelims and finals each day until Saturday February 18, 2006 at the Belmont Plaza.

Each team is expecting tough competition as well as great swims. The meet will start out on Wednesday with time trials in the 200 Medley relay, 1000 freestyle and the 800 free relay for both the men and the women. Last year the Gauchos were able to start off the meet with a bang in these events and this year they expect to do the same.

"This will be a close meet for both the men and women" stated Head Coach Gregg Wilson. "there are teams that have a diving program whose points will be added to the overall score. We need to show our depth and make up for those points with winning swims"

UC Davis will provide excellent competition as well as a diving team of 8 men and 6 women.

"They [UC Davis] will automatically score with the diving" Wilson goes on, "but we know that."

On the mens side UCSB will be focused on UC Davis as their toughest opponents. In years past University of the Pacific has been a threat, but this year they have no divers and are lacking in depth, yet they are well coached. UC Irvine opposes the same threat. UC Davis is expected to score up to 200 points in diving alone, which will make the meet a very close battle where every swim counts.

The Gauchos are confident in their race day ability and the seeding of the meet. They are looking for some surprises from their own team. The men have depth in the distance events and are looking for people to step up when it comes to the sprints

For the women it is more of a four team race for the points between the Gauchos, UC Davis, UOP and UCI. Both Davis and Irvine have 6 women divers. The women are also expecting upsets according the seeding. Historically they have been able to drop enormous amounts of time from prelims to finals and they are counting on that again this year. This is an entire team event, they are not depending on one swimmer to steal the show. Everyone will put in their points. The relay teams will have to step up especially and take advantage of the positioning and the points.

"We need more than just wins" Wilson stated, "we need championship performances."

Even tough majority of the team is young this year there is no lack of leadership from the senior swimmers. They have had a tough early season schedule and they are feeling prepared for this meet.

"We are excited for the seniors to go out with a real strong finish." Wilson concludes "It has been fun to watch."