Gauchos Look to Defend Their Conference Titles at 2009 Big West Championships

Feb. 24, 2009

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, Feb. 25 thru Saturday, Feb. 28
UC Santa Barbara at Big West Conference Championships, All Day
at Bellmont Plaza Olympic Pool (Long Beach, Calif.)

• Take Your Marks...
The UC Santa Barbara swim teams will be looking to defend their Big West Conference titles this week when they head to Long Beach for the league championship meet. Six squads will compete for four days to determine the 2009 champions at Bellmont Plaza Olympic Pool.

• Backstroking
The Gauchos were last in action on Feb. 7 when they hosted the final dual meet of the 2008-09 season against Pacific. UCSB picked up wins in both the men's and women's dual. The men posted a 167-85 victory while the women defeated the Tigers by way of a 163-94 score. With the wins, the men finished the dual meet season with a 5-2 record while the women accumulated a 6-3 mark.

• Gaudinier Earns Big West Swimmer of the Week Honor
Sophomore Lindsay Gaudinier was named Big West Female Swimmer of the Week on Feb. 11. The Pleasanton, Calif. native won two individual events as the Gauchos defeated Big West foe Pacific. Gaudinier took first place in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:53.27 and also won the 500 free in 5:03.37. She also posted a 25.26 anchor split in the 200 free relay. She currently ranks third in the Big West in the 200 freestyle and second in the 500 free.

• Rank And File
The UCSB women are currently receiving votes - 7 to be exact - in the College Swim Coaches Association of America dual meet rankings released on Feb. 12. Georgia is currently ranked No. 1.

• Amongst the Nation's Best
UCSB currently has some of the top times in the nation according to CollegeSwimming.com. Both the Gaucho women's 200 (1:38.57) and 400 (3:37.87) medley relays rank tenth nationally while the 200 (1:30.71) and 400 (3:37.87) free relays rank 15th and 17th, respectively. In individual events, Anne Marie May ranks fifth in the 50 free (21.96) and 17th in the 100 (48.83). Katy Freeman ranks 13th in the 200 breast (2:11.35) and 14th in the 100 breast (1:00.98). Sara Nicponski also ranks amongst the nation's elite in the breaststroke, she is 15th in the 100 (1:01.08) and 36th in the 200 (2:14.38).

• Best In The (Big) West
On the Big West Conference's list of top-20 times this season, the UCSB women hold the top spot in 14 of 19 events, including all five relays. The Gauchos are also the only swimmers in the Big West to already meet NCAA championship "B" qualifying standards. UCSB has turned in 11 "B" standards in nine events. On the men's side, the Gauchos currently own the top Big West times this season in six events, including both the 200 and 400 medley relays.

• Title Wave
The UCSB women have won 12 Big West Conference Championships, including the last three. The men have 27 total team titles and have won three of the last six championships. Head coach Gregg Wilson has been named the Big West's Coach of the Year 25 times and earned the honor for both the men's and women's teams last season. Junior Anne Marie is the defending Big West Female Swimmer of the Year.

• We Are The Champions
In addition to defending their team titles, the Gauchos will be looking to defend several individual event titles this week. Anne Marie May is the defending 50 and 100 free champion, Katy Freeman is the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM champ and Courtney Bauer was last season's 200 free winner. Bradley Matsumoto is the defending 50 and 100 free champion. Jeff Sudbury will be looking to defend his 100 breast title and Chris Good will look to repeat as the 200 back champ.