March 1, 2011

UCSB Heads to Pac-10 Championships this Week

March 1, 2011

The Schedule
Pac-10 Conference Swimming Championships
Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.

Live Results

Wednesday, March 2
200 Medley Relay, 800 Free Relay

Thursday, March 3
500 Free, 200 Individual Medley, 50 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle Relay

Friday, March 4
400 Individual Medley, 100 Butterfly, 200 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke, 100 Backstroke, 400 Medley Relay

Saturday, March 5
1650 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 100 Freestyle, 200 Breaststroke, 200 Butterfly, 400 Free Relay

The Week Ahead
The UC Santa Barbara men's swim team will travel to Belmont Plaza this week for its first appearance at the Pac-10 Swimming Championships. The Gauchos, who won 26 Big West Conference team titles before the league stopped carrying swimming and diving, will be on a quest for its first Pac-10 title. The men's swim team is the first UCSB program to compete in the conference.

The Competition
UCSB will be taking on some of the nation's best swimmers this weekend. The Gauchos will be up against the swim teams from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Cal Poly, Stanford and USC.

Planting The Seeds
The Gaucho relay teams head into the week seeded fifth in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 medley relay and the 400 free relay. Garrett Thompson and Tim Freeman have the highest individual event seeds. Thompson is seeded eighth in the 200 free and Freeman is seeded eighth in the 200 breast; he is additionally seeded 10th in the 100 breast. Chris Peterson is the No. 9 seed in both the 50 and 100 free. Kevin Ferguson, meanwhile, is seeded 10th in the 100 backstroke and 14th in the 50 free.

Making The Cut
In addition to competing for conference titles this week, several UCSB swimmers will be looking to earn their spot at the 2011 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, which will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota the weekend of March 24-26. The Gauchos have yet to post any automatic qualifying times for the championships, but they have achieved nine `B' cuts. Peterson has `B' cuts in the 50 free and100 free; Ferguson has `B' cuts in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 back and 100 breast; and Thompson has a `B' cut in the 200 free. UCSB's 200 free and 400 free relays have also posted `B' qualifying times this year.

Record Watch
Several swimmers have posted times this season that are within striking distance of UCSB records and now that the Gauchos are shaved and tapered, those records could very well fall this week. Ferguson is the closest to a record; his season-best time in the 100 back this year (48.44) is just .26 seconds off of Pat Ota's 2006 school standard. Thompson is .31 seconds off of Matt Bartlett's 200 free program record set at 1:36.41. Peterson, meanwhile, is on a quest to knock down Jason Lezak's 1998 record in the 50 free (19.67). The junior's season-best in the event was 20.04 seconds.