Gaucho swimmers continue to dominate Big West

LONG BEACH — The UC Santa Barbara swim teams took three first place finishes, set two meet records, set one school record and posted numerous career best times to highlight action on the second day of the Big West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships being held at Bellmont Plaza Olympic Pool through Saturday evening.

The first event of the evening was the 500 freestyle. Sophomore Lindsay Gaudinier was the Gauchos’ top finisher in the event, taking third with a personal best time of 4:55.21. Freshman Meagan Brown finished right behind her teammate in fourth place, touching the wall in 4:58.84, another personal best.

In the consolation heat, sophomore Astrid Amsallem (5:02.54) and junior Jessica Schwalb (5:03.96) took 11th and 12th, respectively.

In the men’s 500 free, freshman Ethan Bradley was UCSB’s top finisher, taking fourth place with a personal best time of 4:27.10. Junior Brett Chamberlain placed tenth overall with a mark of 4:33.74.

Senior Katy Freeman followed with a second place finish in the 200 individual medley in a personal best time of 2:01.24. Her teammates sophomore Kelsey Lewis (2:04.68) and junior Katie Ure (2:05.50) were also in the event’s finals and took sixth and seventh place, respectively.

Sara Nicponski had the top finish in the 200 IM consolation final, touching the wall in 2:01.91, the third best time of the night and a personal best for the sophomore. She was followed by sophomore Brittany Borowitz, who took 10th in 2:05.70 and freshman Laurel Ferguson who placed 12th with a time of 2:06.07.

In the men’s 200 IM, three Gauchos qualified for the event finals. Senior Chris Good finished in third place, touching the wall in 1:49.19, a career best time. Junior Danny McClary took sixth in 1:49.62 and freshman Evan Simoni placed eighth in a time of 1:51.54. Freshman Mitchell Long (1:51.92) and junior Joe Plume (1:53.27) placed 11th and 13th in the event consolations.

Junior Anne Marie May followed with the first UCSB win of the day as she successfully defended her conference title in the 50 free with a time of 22.33. The Gauchos racked up some serious points in the 50 free with junior Naomi Javanifard (23.23) finishing third, junior Courtney Bauer (23.24) finishing fourth, senior Nadia Dwidar (23.26) taking sixth and senior Erin Yamamoto (23.81) taking eighth.

Freshmen Kendall Neely (23.81) and Sasza Lohrey (24.08) finished 13th and 15th, adding more points to the Gaucho total.

In the morning’s men’s 50 free prelims, senior Bradley Matsumoto set a new meet record and just missed Jason Lezak’s school and conference record by .01 seconds after touching the wall in a blistering 19.68. He finished first in the evening’s finals with a time of 19.73, successfully defending his conference title. The Gauchos swept the top three finishes in the 50 free with senior Jeff Sudbury (19.76) and sophomore Kevin Kuhn (19.92) taking second and third, respectively. All of the top-three UCSB finishes made NCAA Championship “B” qualifying standards and it marked the first time three Gauchos have swam under 20 seconds in the event.

Junior Scott Vogelgesang (20.31) took sixth and senior Joe Wood (20.42) placed seventh, rounding out UCSB’s domination of the 50 free event finals. UCSB picked up even more points in the 50 free when sophomore Dan Morris (20.77) took 10th and junior Jon Kraetsch (20.93) took 13th in the consolation final.

In the women’s 400 medley relay, the Gaucho team of Javanifard, Freeman, Yamamoto and May took first place in a new meet record time of 3:37.88, just .01 seconds off of their school and conference record that was set last season at the NCAA Championships.

In the final event of the day, the UCSB men’s “A” 400 medley relay consisting of Kevin Ferguson, Sudbury, McClary and Vogelgesang broke the school record and posted a NCAA “B” qualifying standard of 3:14.39 while taking second place behind UC Irvine.

After two days of action, the Gaucho women are in first place with 343 points, 47 points ahead of UC Davis. The men are also currently in first with 301 points, 43 points ahead of the Aggie men.