March 13, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - It is Jen Schwalb and Pat Cary's second time at the NCAA meet, making their debut as sophomores, they return to the meet with wisdom and priceless experience. Senior Pat Ota isn't as fortunate to have NCAA experience, but has watched as a spectator and is entering this meet with his eyes open to the challenges he faces in the water.
The women's meet is in Athens, Georgia will be staring on Thursday March 16, 2006 and ending on Saturday March 18. Junior Jen Schwalb has qualified for the 200 individual medley, 100 and 200 fly. She is ranked 47 out of 71 in the 200 IM, 46 out of 52 in the 100 fly and 30 out of 39 in the 200 fly. Schwalb was not sure that she would be able to qualify for the meet this year because of the unusually fast competition in the water. Head Coach Gregg Wilson assures that she is very excited for this meet and mentally prepared, with full confidence that she will do better than she did last year. Schwalb was 19th in the 200 fly at the 2005 NCAA meet.
The men's meet is in Atlanta, Georgia will be starting one week after the women's meet on Thursday March 23, 2005 and ending on March 25. UCSB will be sending two outstanding men, junior Pat Cary and senior Pat Ota. Last year Ota just missed the cut off and was first alternate for the 100 back at this meet. Watching as a spectator he made his goal for the 2006 season to be back at the meet as a competitor. This year he has qualified in the 100 back, achieving his goal. He has spent a lot of time becoming mentally and physically prepared for this meet. Last year at this time he went a 48.6 in the 100 back and for NCAA he is seeded 21st with a time of 48.18 and expects to swim even faster. This is his last year as a Gaucho and he will be ending his season on the National level, a great achievement for this hardworking athlete.
Pat Cary is the big name UCSB is sending on at NCAA, one of the best 200 fly swimmers in the nation. This is his second National Championship meet. Last year, as a sophomore, he surprised many people with his talents. This year he hopes to blow them out of the water. He is currently 15th in the nation with a time in the 200 fly that he swam unshaven, full beard and all. In the 100 fly he is ranked 25, unshaven as well. There are high expectations for Cary, whispers of All-American can be heard after his name, but Cary has been preparing for this meet since this time last year and while there are high expectations Cary hasn't let the stress get to him. His calm persona will carry him into the water until he will explode out of it at the NCAA meet this year.