LAS VEGAS, Neva. - UC Santa Barbara women's swim took home first place after a long three day competition at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Invitational. The women faced off against some quick teams including UNLV, Fresno State, Pac, UCSD, Cal Poly, and more; but ultimately won by 175 points.
Head coach Matt Macedo stated, "I am very proud of our team and all we accomplished the past three days. While we got off to a slow start and didn't have the opening session we had hoped for, the team found a way to build on each session and Friday evening and Saturday were quite good. Not only did we have some great swims, we were able to watch 18 first year athletes get their first chance to represent UCSB at a big meet and had some of our athletes compete pain-free after dealing with fall injuries."
UCSB's relay finishes played a key role in earning them the overall first place win. The women started off strong taking home a third place in the first relay of the meet, the 200 freestyle relay (1:32.95) with teammates Heaven Quintana, Jacquelyn Harris, Bryn McGowan, and Emily Ward.
Then in the 400 medley relay Gaucho A squad won first place (3:42.39) which consisted of Elena England, Quintana, Maddie Johnson, and Ward; while the Gaucho B squad took fourth (3:45.03) including Tara Middleton, Niki Churchill, Harris, and Lilly Helmuth-Malone.
Another huge victory for the women was in the 200 medley relay; the women took first (1:39.96) with the squad of Ward, Quintana, Harris, and McGowan, followed by a third place finish (1:43.04) from teammates Middleton, Churchill, Rachel Kulik, and Marriott Hoffmann.
Finally in the 400 freestyle relay race the women took home a third place with a time of 3:23.62 from a squad of Sydney Rouse, Herzberg, Ward, and Harris.
This win got the women's team pumped up for the upcoming MPSF Championships in February where the women will taking on some of these same teams again.
Macedo continued, "We talk about our fall invitational being a rehearsal of the conference championships in February and if this is a sign of whats to come, I am very excited to see what this group will do after our winter training camp and the conference dual meet season in January.
Junior captain Quintana dominated in the pool taking home three individual wins, a second place, and contributed to multiple relays. She earned wins in the 200 butterfly (1:58.86), the 100 IM (55.8), and the 100 breaststroke (1:01.20). She was barely out-touched in the 100 butterfly (53.74) finishing just 0.24 behind first place.
Harris followed Quintana's lead in the 100 butterfly taking third (54.65) but then Harris beat out Quintana in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.66 in seventh and a 23.70 for eighth by Quintana.
England scored second place in the 200 backstroke (1:59.13). Johnson and Middleton tied for sixth place in the 100 IM (58.11). Junior Rachel Forbes took home third place in the grueling 1650 freestyle (17:08.37).
Middleton took first place in the 100 backstroke (54.26) only 0.6 seconds off of UCSB's school record set by Cheyenne Low. Teammate Ward finished in fourth (55.53) behind Middleton. Ward also took home fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:50.02) followed closely by teammate Herzberg (1:50.39) in sixth.
Johnson snatched sixth place in the 200 IM (2:05.43) followed by Rouse in seventh (2:05.61).
Junior Brittney Straw took home a pair of sixth places in the 400 IM (4:25.68) and in the 200 breaststroke (2:17.83). Teammate Johnson followed Straw's lead and finished eighth in the 400 IM with a time of 4:28.32.
The Gaucho women finished with an overall score of 791.5 earning first place.
The UCSB men's and women's teams will be back in the competition pool on Jan. 18th and 19th at UNLV.