March 23, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior Chris Peterson will compete in his first NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships this week in Minneapolis, Minn. The sprint freestyler is the Gauchos' lone representative at the championships this year.
Peterson's quest for a national title will begin on Thursday in the 50 freestyle. He is seeded eighth in the event with his school-record time of 19.49 seconds. The top-seeded swimmer in the 50 free is Nathan Adrian from Cal, who has swam the event in a blistering 18.91 seconds.
According to CollegeSwimming.com, Peterson is the "Swimmer to Watch" in the 50 free.
"First it was Righi of Yale, then Schneider of Cincy," writes Chris Harrell. "This year's feel good story in the 50 is UCSB's Peterson who ranks eighth and is surrounded by studs from all the usual powers. It will be interesting to see what this year's 50 free underdog has under the hood."
Peterson will also swim the 100 free on Saturday. He is the 25th seed with yet another school-record time: 43.35 seconds. Adrian is also the top seed in the 100 with his time of 41.75.
This marks the sixth consecutive year that one of the UCSB swim teams has sent at least one swimmer to the NCAA Championships. Peterson is the first Gaucho men's swimmer to qualify, however, since Pat Cary did so in 2007. Cary was also the last men's All-American for the program.
To check out live results of the championships, click here.