Chris Peterson Sets New 100 Free Record, Gauchos Take Sixth at Pac-12 Championships

Chris Peterson
Chris Peterson

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – Senior Chris Peterson set a new UCSB record in the 100 freestyle to highlight the final day of action at the Pac-12 Swimming Championships, which were held at East Los Angeles College. 

The Gauchos finished sixth with 251.5 points, seven points behind fifth-place Utah and 30 ahead of seventh-place Arizona State. Stanford won the conference team title for the 31st straight season. 

Peterson broke his own school record and took third place – the highest Gaucho finish at the championships – with his time of 43.27 seconds in the 100 freestyle. Peterson topped his previous record by .08 seconds and bettered his finish in the event by five spots from the previous season. He is the first UCSB swimmer to medal at the Pac-12 Championships. 

Kevin Ferguson won the 'B' final, placed ninth overall and posted the evening's sixth best time in the 100 free after touching the wall in 43.62 seconds. Garrett Thompson, meanwhile, touched 13th in 44.52 seconds (44.42 in prelims). Kevin Kuhn finished 22nd in 45.10 (44.89 prelims) seconds and Steven Ewoldt placed 23rd in 45.30 seconds (45.10 prelims). 

Andrew Barman represented the Gauchos in the 1650 freestyle. The freshman took 12th in the event with a mark of 15:28.81, which is an NCAA 'B' cut. Ian Betts swam the event as an exhibition and finished in 15:42.83. 

In the 200 backstroke, Ryan Garcia qualified for the 'C' final. The senior touched 22nd with a mark of 1:48.99.

Evan Simoni had the Gauchos' top finish in the 200 breaststroke. The senior finished 11th with a time of 2:00.69, which is a personal best. Chris Leon finished 16th in the event with his time of 2:03.12.

In the final individual event of the meet, Randy Aakhus led the Gauchos with a 10th-place finish in the 200 butterfly. He recorded a time of 1:47.15, which is an NCAA 'B' cut. Freshman Bob Hwang joined him in the 'B' final and finished 13th in 1:48.77 (1:48.39 in prelims). Dylan Templeton won the 'C' final in a time of 1:49.31.

The Gauchos closed the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 400 free relay. Peterson, Wade Allen, Thompson and Ferguson finished in 2:53.48, another NCAA 'B' consideration time. 

The NCAA Men's Division I Swimming and Diving Championships will be held March 22-24 in Seattle, Wash.