SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A total of twenty-three student-athletes have committed to join the UC Santa Barbara Swimming and Diving teams for the 2014-15 season by signing National Letters of Intent, head coach Gregg Wilson announced Thursday.
Faith Travis (Palms Springs, Calif./ Palm Springs HS), Alysa Shew (Whittier, Calif./ La Serna HS), Allison Stevens (Moraga, Calif./ Campolindo HS), Annie Larsen (Orinda, Calif./ Campolindo HS), Elise Yellott (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./ Tesoro HS), Michelle Basham (Monrovia, Calif./ Glendora HS), Nicole Gautreau (Glendora, Calif./ Glendora HS), Kathleen Benjamin (Davis, Calif./ Davis Senior HS), Gretchen Horbol (Carlsbad, Calif./ Carlsbad HS), Dasha Depew (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Lauren Vossler (Garden Grove, Calif./ Golden West CC), and Elizabeth Pulido (Santa Maria, Calif./ Ernest Righetti HS) will be joining the women's team.
Eddie Sanchez (Covina, Calif./ South Hills HS), Gabe Bolender (Santa Cruz, Calif./ Santa Cruz HS), Matt Chalcarz (Mission Viejo, Calif./ Capistrano Valley HS), John Randazzo (Chula Vista, Calif./ Eastlake HS), Simon Wong (Hacienda Heights, Calif./ Los Altos HS), Nick Devito (Playa Del Rey, Calif./ Loyola HS), Michael Forbes (Upland, Calif./ Los Osos HS), Chris Nolan (Corcoran, Calif./ Corcoran HS), Billy Mullis (Vacaville, Calif./ Vacaville HS), Garrett Middleton (Walnut Creek, Calif./ Las Lomas HS), and Kevin Mendoza (El Centro, Calif./ Southwest HS) will be the newest additions to the men's squad.
"There are big shoes to fill from the departure of the senior class, yet with that being said this group will do very well," Wilson said of the women's incoming class. "Two of the biggest gaps being filled will be in the distance and sprint freestyle events. In addition, with the departure of Allie Knight we have found backstroker's Travis, Stevens and Pulido to help replace the amount of points Knight previously brought in. Shew, Vossler and Benjamin will help to replace points gained by graduating senior Sophia Yamauchi."
While one of the biggest gaps lies in replacing senior NCAA All-American Andrea Ward, Wilson has faith that the incoming class will do a great job of stepping-up to the challenge. anticipates a great future for Vossler, who will arrive at UCSB with championship titles in the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the California State Community College meet. She also anchored relay splits with times of 22.6 and 49.7 in the 50 and 100 free respectively.
"For the men, there is a good balance and there are a lot of kids with huge potential," Wilson said. "There are several very strong swimmers and many incoming competitors who I expect to break out in their future years at UCSB."
The large incoming class of Gauchos will be join seniors Wade Allen and Chris Dotson who will return to lead the men's team, and Micaela Velasquez, Katie Records and Carissa Metcalf on the women's team. All have all been recently elected as team captains by their peers.