Women Win Big West Title, Gauchos Sweep Freshman of the Year Honors
Feb. 24, 2007
Long Beach, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women and UC Irvine men claimed the team championships Saturday at the 2007 Big West Swimming & Diving Championships. It was the 11th title for the Gauchos' women's contingent, while the Anteater men won the crown for the first time in school history. The four-day event was held at the Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.
UC Santa Barbara took the women's crown with 844.5 points, with Pacific (678.0) and UC Irvine (631.0) coming in second and third, respectively. UC Davis checked in at fourth with 558.0 points, while Cal State Northridge (328.0) and Cal Poly (323.5) round out the women's final standings.
UCI won the men's title with 820.5 points, easily outdistancing the second place UC Santa Barbara Gauchos who collected 727.5 tallies. Third place belonged to UC Davis with 660.0 points with Pacific coming in fourth with 596.0 points. Cal Poly (315.0) and Cal State Northridge (276.0) wrapped up the men's standings.
UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara also picked up a majority of the individual honors as each winner was from one of the two schools. On the men's side, UC Irvine's Randall Tom was named Men's Swimmer of the Year, Scott Vogelgesang of UC Santa Barbara garnered Freshman of the Year honors and Anteater head coach Brian Pajer received Coach of the Year accolades. UC Irvine's Lyndsay DePaul claimed the Women's Swimmer of the Year trophy, while fellow freshman Anne Marie May of UC Santa Barbara was named the Freshman of the Year. Gaucho head coach Gregg Wilson was honored as the Coach of the Year.
The first swimming event of the day was the 1650 free with the women's side getting the first crack at the race. Pacific's Karen Albiston was the first to touch the wall after completing the 66 laps in 17:14.04, just over seven seconds faster than second place. On the men's side, Scott Weltz of UC Davis was victor after finishing the race in 15:30.62, besting his preliminary time by over a second.
Pacific's Jun Huang made it back-to-back women's titles as she took the 200-meter backstroke in 1:58.03, an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. The men's champion was not only an NCAA provisional qualifier, but also set a new meet record as Wojciech Betlej took home the title in 1:44.69.
UCSB swept the 100-meter freestyle event as Anne Marie May touched the wall first in an NCAA provisional qualifying 50.71 and Bradley Matsumoto edged out the competition with an NCAA provisional time of 44.23.
The 200-meter breaststroke competitors were the next to compete as Heidi Kucera of UC Davis was the winner in the women's race with a time of 2:14.30, narrowly missing an automatic NCAA qualifying time by less than a second. Pacific's David Dunn earned the top spot on the podium after finishing in 1:59.44, earning him an NCAA provisional qualifying time.
The 200-meter butterfly had the honor of being the next event with UC Irvine's Lyndsay DePaul topping the field with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:59.30, over three seconds faster than her preliminary mark. The Anteaters made it a sweep in the event as Eddie Erazo touched the wall in 1:44.52, a new meet record and an NCAA automatic qualifying time.
The final event of the day was the 400-meter freestyle relay. UC Santa Barbara put the topping on their team title with the last crown of the day on the women's side as the Gaucho swimmers finished the event in 3:23.07, an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Not to be outdone, the UC Irvine men also claimed the final event to put the finishing touches on their crown with a meet record time of 2:56.31, the final NCAA provisional qualifying mark of the day.
2007 Big West Swimming & Diving Championships Final Standings
1. UC Santa Barbara - 844.5
2. Pacific - 678.0
3. UC Irvine - 631.0
4. UC Davis - 558.0
5. Cal State Northridge - 328.0
6. Cal Poly - 323.5
1. UC Irvine - 820.5
2. UC Santa Barbara - 727.5
3. UC Davis - 660.0
4. Pacific - 596.0
5. Cal Poly - 315.0
6. Cal State Northridge - 276.0
MAJOR AWARD WINNERS
Men's Swimmer of the Year - Randall Tom, UC Irvine
Men's Freshman of the Year - Scott Vogelgesang, UC Santa Barbara
Men's Coach of the Year - Brian Pajer, UC Irvine