Gauchos break relay record at Big West Championships

UCSB’s women’s 200 medley relay and the Gaucho men’s 200 and 800 free relays set UC Santa Barbara school records on Thursday, the first day of the 2009 Big West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships being held at Bellmont Plaza in Long Beach.

The Gauchos opened the meet with a bang when the UCSB women’s “A” 200 medley relay team of Naomi Javanifard, Katy Freeman, Erin Yamamoto and Anne Marie May successfully defended their conference title and broke their own Big West Conference and school record with a mark of 1:38.40.

The UCSB men’s “A” 200 medley relay team of Kevin Ferguson, Jeff Sudbury, Danny McClary and Bradley Matsumoto followed suit, taking first place in a time of 1:27.67. The mark was just .04 seconds off of the Gaucho school record and makes the NCAA Championships “B” qualifying standard.

In the first individual event of the meet – the 1000 freestyle – Cal Poly’s Lacey Buck took first in a time of 9:55.82. Freshman Meagan Brown was the Gauchos’ top finisher in third place. Brown touched the wall in 10:11.36, a personal best time and the fastest time this season by a UCSB swimmer in the event.

Teammate Astrid Amsallem finished right behind her teammate in fifth-place with a mark of 10:13.62. Lindsay Gaudinier placed eighth with a time of 10:24.97 and Carri Cook took 16th in 10:49.45, rounding out the Gauchos that earned points in the event.

In the men’s 1000 free, it was once again a rookie that led the way for UCSB as freshman Ethan Bradley took third place with a career-best time of 9:09.31, which is also the best time by a Gaucho this season. Brett Chamberlain finished eighth in 9:28.51, a season best mark.

In the women’s 800 free relay, the Gaucho “A” team of Gaudinier, Yamamoto, Kelsey Lewis and Laurel Ferguson took second behind UC Davis with a time of 7:26.05.

The Gaucho men’s “A” 800 free relay broke the school record and the Big West record with a time of 6:31.07. Unfortunately, the team of Joe Wood, Joe Plume, Dan Morris and Scott Vogelgesang got beat out by the Aggies’ “A” relay team, which set the new conference record with a mark of 6:28.80.

At the end of the day, the Gaucho men’s 200 free relay made up of Kevin Kuhn, Chris Peterson, Bradley Matsumoto and Jeff Sudbury swam a time trial. The team posted a time of 1:17.99, setting a new school record and falling just .30 seconds short of the NCAA Championship “A” qualifying standard.

After one day of action, the Gaucho women are in first place with 117 points and the UCSB men are in second place behind Pacific with 101 points.

Action at the 2009 Big West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships will continue tomorrow at Bellmont Plaza in Long Beach.