UCSB Captures Three Event Titles, Sets Two More Records at MPSF Championships

Allie Knight (By Wendy Allen)

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara had another fantastic day at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships as the Gauchos captured three more event titles and set two more school and meet records. With one more day of action to go, UCSB is still very much in the hunt for their first MPSF team title.

Allie Knight opened the evening's finals in fine form for the Gauchos, touching first in the first event, the 400 individual medley. She captured a school and MPSF Championship meet record with her time of 4:14.48. The mark, which is also a NCAA 'B' cut was a blistering three seconds faster than the previous UCSB record, which was set by Jessica Schwalb in 2009.

Heren Alanis captured seventh place in the event, touching in 4:23.61. She qualified for the finals with a prelims time of 4:22.02, which is the seventh fastest time in program history. Taylor Munk won the consolation final and placed ninth overall with her time of 4:22.81.

The Gaucho records continued to fall in the next event, the 100 butterfly. Andrea Ward broke her own school and meet record when she repeated as the champion in the event with a time of 52.98. Anne Peanasky, who took eighth in 56.50 seconds, joined Ward in the final. Her prelims time was 56.01.

Laurel Ferguson captured the top spot in the consolation finals with a time of 55.81 seconds. 

In the 200 free, Emma Hunt had the Gauchos' top finish, taking third-place in 1:49.38. Micaela Velasquez took sixth overall in 1:51.17 (1:50.95 in prelims) and Monica Garcia placed 10th in 1:50.73.

UCSB had three representatives in the 100 breaststroke. Sophia Yamauchi took second place with a career-best time of 1:01.09. Katie Records touched third in 1:02.08 and Paige Bradley was sixth in 1:03.39 (1:03.08 in prelims).

The Gauchos did not have any swimmers qualify for the championship final in the 100 back, but both Mariah Tharp and Kendall Neely swam in the consolation final and still garnered points. Tharp won the heat, taking ninth overall with a time of 57.10 seconds, which was the evening's seventh fastest time. Neely took 13th in 58.16 seconds (57.69 in prelims).

At the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, the Gaucho divers competed on the one-meter board. Caila Baltas had the top finish for UCSB, taking 10th with 221.65 points. Noelle Provenzano finished 16th with 161.65 points. BYU captured first through third place on the one-meter, allowing them to jump ahead of the Gauchos into first place in the meet standings for first time during the three-day competition.

UCSB closed out the day in strong fashion as it won the fourth straight relay. The 200 free relay team of Neely, Sasza Lohrey, Tharp and Yamauchi finished in 1:33.21. Yamauchi's blistering final leg helped the Gauchos out-touch BYU by .03 seconds.

The Gauchos trail first-place BYU by just 8.5 points with 482 total points scored.

The MPSF Championships will conclude on Saturday evening with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform diving and the 400 free relay. 

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