March 16, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - While the UCSB men's basketball team goes dancing this week, another Gaucho will be representing the blue and gold on the national stage as senior swimmer Anne Marie May heads to the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships being hosted by Purdue at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center this Thursday through Saturday.
May will be making her fourth appearance at the NCAA Championships and will be swimming in both the 50 and 100 freestyle with strong title chances in the shorter distance.
She is seeded 12th in the 50 free with her mark of 22.34, which was the best time in the country for several weeks earlier in the season. Elizabeth Webb of Stanford carries the top seed into the event with a time of 22.04.
At the 2008 NCAA Championships, May was the third-place finisher and earned All-American honors in the 50 free when she touched the wall in 22.00, a school and Big West conference record. Last season, she was battling an illness at the championships and still finished 15th overall (22.37) earning Honorable Mention All-American honors.
The Carmel, Calif. native enters the meet seeded 26th in the 100 free. Her best time in the event this season is 49.21. The top seed in the 100 free belongs to Stanford's Elizabeth Smit, whose time of 47.40 is the fastest so far this year.
May's best NCAA finish in the 100 came in 2008 when she placed 26th with a school and Big West record time of 49.13.
If May wins either event, she will become the first Gaucho women's NCAA Champion in swimming and second overall. Don Roth - the lone UCSB NCAA Champion swimmer - won the 100 free in 1966.
The 50 free preliminaries and finals will be swam on Thursday, Mar. 18 while the 100 free competition will take place on Saturday.
For up to the minute live results from the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, click here.