UCSB Wins Three Events, Remains in Driver’s Seat After Day Two of MPSF Championships

Sophia Yamauchi (Photo by Wendy Allen)
Sophia Yamauchi (Photo by Wendy Allen)

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – The UCSB women's swimming and diving team won three of Thursday's five events at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at East Los Angeles College and set its second school record. After two days of competition, the Gauchos continue to sit in first place.

UCSB opened the morning's preliminaries in strong fashion as four Gauchos qualified for the championship final in the 500 freestyle. Andrea Ward emerged the victor during the evening swim, touching first in 4:50.41 to successfully defend her title in the event.

Emma Hunt proved consistent as she finished sixth in 4:55.32, adding just .15 seconds onto her time from the prelims, which was a season-best. Micaela Velasquez finished seventh in 4:58.41 (4:55.32 in prelims) and Heren Alanis took eighth in 4:59.14 (4:52.05 in prelims).

Sophia Yamauchi helped continue the Gaucho dominance as she won her first individual MPSF title in the 200 individual medley. She broke her own record in the event, touching in 1:58.56, which is also a new meet record, in addition to being a NCAA 'B' cut. 

Allie Knight finished second behind Yamauchi in 2:00.04 while Anne Peanasky touched sixth in 2:04.69 (2:03.57 in prelims). In the consolation final, Katie Records placed 11th in 2:04.13 and Taylor Munk took 15th in 2:05.10, rounding out the Gaucho scoring in the event.

In the 50 freestyle, Kendall Neely finished third in 23.21 seconds and Mariah Tharp also grabbed points for the Gauchos with a 15th place finish in 23.97 seconds. Both swimmers swam .01 seconds faster in the prelims. 

While the Gaucho swimmers were busy at East Los Angeles College, the divers began their portion of the meet at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Caila Baltas fell just short of qualifying for the three-meter championship finals, scoring 213.45 points in the prelims, which was ninth overall. She ended up placing 12th during the consolation finals with 214.55 points. Noelle Provenzano took 16th with 176.80 points, a season-best.

UCSB closed out the day with yet another relay win. The 400 medley relay team of Knight, Yamauchi, Ward and Neely touched the wall in 3:39.89, which is a NCAA 'B' cut.

The Gauchos hold the lead with 258 points, but after sweeping the top-three finishes on the three-meter diving board, BYU is nipping at their heels with 244.5 points.

Action at the four-day meet will continue on Friday with the 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, one-meter diving and 200 free relay.