AUSTIN, Texas – Don't mess with Texas? More like 'don't mess with Andrea Ward.' The sophomore swimmer posted her third school record in as many days as the Gauchos closed out action at the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational on Saturday.
Ward, who had previously set school records in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle earlier this weekend, posted her third UCSB record in the 200 butterfly. During the morning's preliminaries, she touched the wall in 1:59.40, which was .04 seconds faster than the previous Gaucho best swam by Jennifer Schwalb in 2005. Ward finished 15th in the evening's finals with a time of 1:59.46.
The Gaucho women finished the meet in seventh place with 258.5 points. The host, Texas, won the meet with 1,762.5 points. The UCSB men finished seventh as well (288.5 points) and the Longhorn men captured first (1,822.5 points).
Andrew Barmann was the first Gaucho in the pool during the evening's finals as he went the distance in the 1650 free. The freshman touched the wall 12th with a season-best mark of 15:47.33.
Ryan Garcia was up next as he represented UCSB in the 200 backstroke. After swimming a season-best time of 1:48.49 in the morning's prelims, Garcia touched 16th in the finals in 1:48.76.
Four UCSB men qualified for the evening's finals in the 100 free after all posting season-bests in the prelims. Chris Peterson placed seventh (43.61) during his morning swim while Kevin Ferguson touched 10th (43.72), Kevin Kuhn was 19th (44.80) and Garrett Thompson was 22nd (44.97).
Presumably, in an attempt to rest the foursome for the 400 free relay, the Gaucho coaches pulled them from the evening's finals, subsequently opening the field so that teammates Alex Campbell and Chase Lemley could log an evening swim. Campbell placed 28th in 45.49 seconds and Lemley took 30th in 45.82 after registering a slightly faster mark of 45.52 seconds in the prelims.
Sophia Yamauchi followed in the 200 breaststroke, in which she took 19th with a season-best clip of 2:14.19.
On the men's end, Evan Simoni placed 15th in the 200 breast (2:03.58). He posted a season-best during the prelims, touching the wall in 2:02.43. Chris Leon (2:05.13) and Tyler Jean (2:06.12) took 22nd and 28th, respectively.
In the men's 200 fly, Max Horrell posted the best Gaucho individual finish of the day, taking ninth and winning his heat in 1:48.14.
UCSB wrapped up the meet with the 400 free relay. The women's team of Emma Hunt, Kendall Neely, Yamauchi and Ward placed 12th in 3:23.79, which is an NCAA 'B' cut.
The rested men's team of Peterson, Kuhn, Thompson and Ferguson posted their best mark of the season, touching the wall in 2:54.43.
The Gauchos will take a break from competition for the rest of the month. They will be back in action on Jan. 21 when they host UNLV at Campus Pool.