Gauchos Leave Maccabiah Games with Plenty of Hardware

July 24, 2009

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Current UC Santa Barbara swimmer Naomi Javanifard and Gaucho alum Jason Lezak proved to be great representation of the United States and UCSB during the Maccabiah Games swim competition that ran Sunday through Wednesday in Israel. Lezak won four gold medals and Javanifard brought home three silvers.

Sometimes referred to the "Jewish Olympics", the Maccabiah Games are held every four years in Israel attracting the most outstanding Jewish athletes from around the world. In addition to competing in the games, Javanifard and Lezak participated in a Pre Camp, which included a tour of Israel.

Javanifard opened the meet on Sunday with a silver-medal performance in the 100-meter freestyle, touching the wall in 58.23. The next day, she went 1:00.96 in the 100 butterfly, once again taking second. She took fourth-place in the 100-meter backstroke (1:05.88) before picking up another silver medal in the 50 free (26.85) on Wednesday.

Lezak captured individual gold in the 50 and 100-meter free events. In the 50 he went 22.19 and in the 100 he posted the fastest time by an American this year, touching the wall in 47.78. Lezak also helped guide the Americans to gold in the 400 free relay (3:21.17) and the 400 medley relay (3:43.07).

To read a New York Times story on Jason Lezak's participation in the Maccabiah Games, click here.

- UCSBgauchos.com -