SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara swimming honored their seniors in the best way possible—a double win against University of Pacific. Seniors Mason Tittle, Logan Hotchkiss, Joe Kmak, Calvin Kirkpatrick, An Nguyen, Lilly Helmuth-Malone, Gabby Penvenne, and Rachel Kulik raced in their final home meet of their collegiate careers. They will be missed by the team tremendously but the team wishes them luck in their new endeavors!
Head coach Matt Macedo stated, "Today was all about our seniors and they were awesome! The entire team swam for them and swam fast. Standout performances came from captain An Nguyen in the 200 breast (2:17.48), Joe Kmak in the 200 breast (2:02.07) and Mason Tittle had one of the best dual meet performances I have ever seen. Mason's 19.77 and 44.11 swims in the 50 and 100 free (leading off the 400 free relay) may have been pool records and were done in traditional fun suits. Spending time with our seniors and their families in their final combined dual meet was a great way to end four years at campus pool."
The Gaucho women kick-started the meet with a sweep in the 200 medley relay, snagging first (1:43.30), second (1:46.89), and third (1:47.13).
The senior men, in their jean speedos, were barely out-touched by 0.61 seconds in the 200 medley relay (1:31.68).
Rachel Forbes represented the Gaucho women being the only one in the 1650 freestyle and earned her team a first place (17:10.71) against two Pacific women.
The 200 freestyle was an outstanding race for UCSB with the women getting first, second, fourth, and sixth; followed by the men placing first, second, third, and fifth in their heat. The scorers for the women included Emily Ward in first (1:50.96), Haley Herzberg in second (1:51.20), Kassidy Lemminn in fourth (1:53.26), and Elena England in sixth (1:53.80); on the men's side it was Joseph Lastelic in first (1:39.53), Ryan Levy in second (1:40.25), Hotchkiss in third (1:41.65), and Tim Lee in fifth (1:42.27).
Up next was the 100 backstroke where one brave Pacific woman faced off against four Gauchos. Tara Middleton of UCSB grabbed first (56.80) followed by teammates Sydney Rouse in third (57.65), Micah Toetter in fourth (58.06), and Christina Campbell in fifth (1:00.72).
Senior Kulik tied with teammate Ward in an exciting 50 freestyle race (23.96). Marriott Hoffman and Senior Helmuth-Malone followed with a third (24.28) and sixth (24.84) respectively.
On the men's side, Senior Tittle stole the show with a strong win in the 50 freestyle (19.77). Riley Ferguson (20.91), Lee (21.52), and Fischer Basham (21.64) followed their captain's lead with third, sixth, and seventh places.
The Gaucho men and women dominated again, but in the 100 freestyle this time. Ward (51.59), Jacquelyn Harris (51.77), and Hoffmann (52.63) swept followed by the men Tittle (44.53), J. Nguyen (44.95), and Oscar Jameson (46.56) sweeping in their heat.
England earned her team a first place in the 200 backstroke (2:02.79) and Toetter finished second with a time of 2:04.42.
Senior woman Nguyen had an exciting race in the 200 breaststroke, snatching a glorious first with a time of 2:17.48. Teammates Straw (2:18.06) and Niki Churchill (2:28.99) followed their captain with a second and fourth place finish.
The men swept yet again, taking first was senior Kmak (2:02.07), Quarante (2:05.50), and Moore (2:10.34) in the 200 breaststroke.
Brouwer (49.67) and Griffin represented the Gauchos in the 100 butterfly taking an easy second and third place.
The Gaucho women finished with the final score of 147 to 91, while the men finished with 137 to 93.
UCSB swim will face off in one final meet against rivals Cal Poly (Feb. 2) in San Louis Obispo, before heading down to Los Angeles for the MPSF Championships (Feb. 20-23).