February 27, 2008

Gauchos Sweep Big West Women's Honors, Wilson Takes Top Coach Honors

Feb. 27, 2008

IRVINE, Calif. - Following their third straight conference title, the women's team was awarded two more impressive honors Wednesday as sophomore Anne Marie May was named Big West Swimmer of the Year and freshman Sara Nicponski garnered Big West Freshman of the Year. Coach Gregg Wilson was not left out and for his coaching accomplishments and picked up the Coach of the Year award for the men and the women.

May was explosive at this year's Big West Swimming & Diving Championships, tallying six first place victories in the 50 and 100 free, 200 and 400 relays and 200 and 400 medley relays. The Carmel, Calif., native, and her teammates broke school records in all of the aforementioned events except the 100 free.

Her time of 22.21 in the 50 free at the Big West Championship set a new meet record, along with the 200 free and 200 medley relay teams shattering conference marks. May becomes just the fourth female Gaucho to receive the Big West Swimmer of the Year accolade.

Nicponski followed in May's footsteps as the Big West Freshman of the Year. While being a part of the championship 200 and 400 medley relays at the conference championships, she placed second in the 100 (1:02.01) and 200 breaststroke (2:14.53) and fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:04.52). Nicponski has recorded NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 100 and 200 breast.

Guiding the UC Santa Barbara men's program to their 26th title, third in the past five years (`04, `06), and the women's team to its third straight conference champion, Wilson was named both the men's and women's Big West Coach of the Year. This is his 14th men's honor and 11th women's coaching accolade. Wilson's Gauchos were impressive during last week's swimming & diving championship, setting eight meet records.

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