LONG BEACH, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara swim teams completed action at the 2011 Arena Invitational, which was being held at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, on Saturday evening. The Gaucho men had an impressive showing, taking second overall, while the women placed seventh.
Saturday's finals opened with the 1650 freestyle. Andrea Ward got the Gauchos off to a solid start with her fourth-place finish in the event. She touched the wall in 16:49.38, which tops her best time from last season by .53 seconds.
For the men, Andrew Barmann captured 12th place with a mark of 15:56.52 and Ian Betts took 17th in 16:10.10.
The 200 backstroke followed. After qualifying for the event's final with a preliminary time of 1:48.71, Randy Aakhus took seventh in 1:49.59. Ryan Garcia won the consolation final, placing ninth overall, with a mark of 1:49.17.
Kendall Neely was the lone women's team member to qualify for an evening swim in the 100 freestyle. She placed 27th with a time of 51.53 seconds.
In the men's 100 free, Chris Peterson posted an NCAA 'B' cut and finished second with his mark of 43.75, which was just .40 seconds off of his school record time. Garrett Thompson also qualified for the final and took seventh in 44.99 seconds.
Seven additional Gauchos qualified for consolation heats in the 100 free: Wade Allen (45.39) placed 11th, Kevin Kuhn (45.85 finals, 45.18 in prelims) took 15th, Andrew Dossa (46.16 finals, 45.55 prelims) was 16th, Steven Ewoldt (46.09 finals, 45.98 prelims) took 19th, Alex Campbell (46.46 finals, 46.24 prelims) was 22nd, Mike London (46.54) was 28th and Matt Berry (46.65 finals, 46.42 prelims) was 32nd.
The women had a strong showing in the 200 breaststroke with Sophia Yamauchi leading the charge. The sophomore finished eighth with a time of 2:16.66. She clocked a slightly quicker mark of 2:16.11 in the morning's prelims.
Katie Records finished 11th in the event with a time of 2:16.59, Paige Bradley was 16th in 2:19.00, Carissa Metcalf was 18th in 2:18.93 and Erica Taylor was 28th in 2:21.40.
On the men's end, Jeremy Buck placed 24th (2:11.06 finals, 2:08.55 prelims) and Chris Leon was 32nd (2:11.17 finals, 2:09.83 prelims).
In the meet's final individual event, the 200 butterfly, each team had three swimmers qualify for evening swims. Monica Garcia captured 24th in 2:06.86 (2:05.30 prelims), Emma Hunt won her heat and took 25th with a time of 2:03.82 and Miranda Schneider rounded out the Gaucho swims with 31st place (2:06.79 finals, 2:05.70 prelims).
Max Horrell placed sixth in the men's 200 fly finals with a mark of 1:50.40 after swimming the prelims .39 seconds faster. Ryan Garcia (1:54.18) and Dylan Templeton (1:55.40) finished 27th and 28th, respectively.
The meet concluded with the 400 freestyle relay. The Gaucho women's team of Yamauchi, Anne Peanasky, Neely and Ward placed seventh after touching the wall in 3:25.05.
The UCSB men finished in strong fashion as Peterson, Thompson, Allen and Kevin Ferguson took second with a mark of 2:56.37, which is an NCAA 'B' cut.
UCSB will be back in action Dec. 1-3 when the Gauchos head to the Texas Invitational, which is being hosted in Austin, Texas.