June 20, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sophomore swimmer Anne Marie May, who finished third in the 50 freestyle at the NCAA Championships, earning All-American honors, was selected UCSBgauchos.com Female Athlete of the Year, narrowly defeating junior track star Danielle Domenichelli in the on-line vote, 250-235.
In the closest poll ever, May earned 43.3% of the vote, while Domenichelli garnered 40.7%. Gaucho softball star Tiffany Wright was third with 36 votes, 6.2%.
May's list of achievements during her sophomore season was impressive. The 2008 Big West Swimmer of the Year guided UCSB to the league's women's swimming crown by winning the 50 and 100 freestyle events. Her time of 22.21 in the 50 free was, at the time a school record, and it is a meet record. In addition, May swam the anchor leg as the Gauchos won league titles in the 200 and 400 free relay, as well as the 200 and 400 medley relay. They set meet record in the 200 free and 200 medley relays, and a school record in the 400 free relay.
At the NCAA Championships, May's third-place finish in the 50 free was the highest finish in school history. Her time of 22.00 in the event broke the school record that she had set previously at the Big West Championships. She was also swam anchor as UCSB placed 11th in the 200 medley relay and 15th in the 400 medley relay. The time of 3:38.57 in the 400 medley is a school record. May also finished 26th in the 100 free, setting yet another school record at 49.13. Due significantly to her efforts, UCSB finished 25th as a team at the NCAA Championships, its highest mark ever. Finally, the Carmel, Calif., native has qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50 free.
Domenichelli made her mark at the Big West Championships, the NCAA West Regional, and the NCAA Championships. At the Big West meet, the junior from El Dorado Hills, Calif., recorded one of the most difficult doubles, winning the 10,000 meters on day one and the 5,000 meters on day two. She entered UCSB's all-time top-10 list with a time of 36:14.49 in her 10,000 win. Her performance at the Big West Championships qualified Domenichelli for the NCAA West Regional in the 5,000 meters, where she finished third with a time of 16:28.18, earning All-West Region honors and qualifying for the NCAA Championships, where she qualified for the finals and then ran her best race of the year, a personal-best 16:27.98 to finish 11th.
Wright, a junior outfielder, had a banner season for the UCSB softball team, batting .350 overall, with 12 home runs, 40 RBI, 15 doubles, and 40 runs scored. In Big West games, Wright was tremendous, winning the league's batting title with a .487 average, and posting a .947 slugging percentage. She was chosen Big West Conference Field Player of the Year, First Team All-Big West, and All-West Region.