May 22, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Head Coach Gregg Wilson is pleased to announce the signing of 13 new Gaucho men and 8 Gaucho women for next year's class of 2011. In February 2006 in his 31st season as UCSB head coach, coach Wilson won both the men's and women's Big West Swimming Championships. It was the 26th time Wilson took the championship plunge for the men, and12th time he has won the championship with the women. When asked about this year, Coach Wilson had this to say:
"This season was so much fun, between our athletes, our staff and recruiting, things just seemed to go right. This year we had an amazing group of freshmen come into our program who made such a positive impact. When recruits came on campus, I think they really felt there was something special happening on this team."
Wilson also added, "We just do not have the scholarships available that many of our competitors have, so what we lack in money we make up in hard work, dedication and commitment to one another. When we recruit, we tell the high school seniors that getting fast is important, but also becoming a part of the Gaucho family and learning how to carry their success as Gaucho on into their lives is just as important."
On the women's side the Gauchos have signed four girls to National Letter of Intents and received commitments from 4 others who already registered with UCSB and they are:
Courtney Bauer: Hayward, CA. Courtney swam for Mike Heaney of Walnut Creek Aqua Bears. She is a 24.2, 51.50 and 1:52.6 in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle respectively. Coach Higashijima on Bauer,
"Like her brother who is also a Gaucho, Courtney is tall and strong and we really feel like when she becomes a part of our women's training group, she is going to excel as a shorter distance freestyler."
Jessica Scwhalb: Ridgecrest, CA. Jessica is a product of Greg Jansen's Ridgecrest Aquatics and is another Gaucho legacy. Her sister, Jennifer will be a senior next year. Jessica will specialize in the distance freestyle events and help in the 400 IM.
Nika Tayrien: Paradise Valley, AZ. Nika swims for Greg Winslow of Sun Devil Aquatics. She is a talented middle distance freestyler with best times of 53.1, and 1:52.2 in the 100 and 200, respectively. Nika made huge drops this year and we were lucky to sign her before she really exploded. Coach Naya Higashijima had this to say,
"If Nika comes here and trains like she is capable, we really feel that she will make our conference team and become a significant player in the year's to come."
Cailan McLennan: Rancho Mirage, CA. Cailan swims for Chuck Riggs of Redlands Aquatics and will train in the sprint group with the Gauchos. Coach Wilson on McLennan: "Cailan is such a rookie as far as training and competing goes, that while she will sprint, her true potential is really unknown, so we look forward to providing her with many challenges so that we can find her strengths."
Katie Ure: Orinda, CA. Katie is a product of Coach Ronnie and Donnie of Orinda Aquatics. Katie will provide depth in the sprint freestyle events as well as the butterfly events. Katie's bests are: 23.9, 53.9, 1:54.78 50, 100 and 200 free, and 57.03 in the 100 butterfly. "You look at Katie and you see a really fast swimmer, but what many people don't know is that she is an extremely talented water polo player and has always trained for both. She will do both sports at UCSB, but will spend the majority of the year with the swim team and we are excited to see what she can do. "In my mind," said Assistant coach Kipp, "the parallels between her and Pat Cary are very similar as I expect her top make significant drops in time."
Carrie Cook: Placentia, CA. Carrie trained with Dave Salo of Irvine Nova Aquatics. Carrie is our third Gaucho Legacy this year as her older sister, Jennifer Cook, was this year's women's co-captain. Carrie will contribute to the breaststroke events for the Gauchos. Her best times are 1:06.25 and 2:24.88 in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Carrie's other duties will include the IM and freestyle events as well. Coach Wilson on Cook: "It is great to have another Cook on the Gaucho team. Carrie is already committed to a high level of training and competing with Dave Salo at Nova, so we know that Carrie is going to add serious strength to our talented group of Lady Gauchos."
Naomi Jauanifard: Carmichael, CA. Naomi is a middle distance swimmer who specializes in the 100 back and 100 fly and swims for Brian Nabeta of Arden Hills.
"Naomi is not afraid of hard work because as a new swimmer, she has had no problems handling the work load of Brian's practices," said coach Kipp. "When she starts lifting and working on her physical strength in dryland workouts, I feel like we will see some major improvements."
Niki Schrakamp: Orinda, CA. Niki swims primarily the butterfly events for Orinda Aquatics under coaches Ron and Don Heidery. Coach Higashijima had this to say about Schrakamp: "Niki is a relatively unknown quantity for us right now. She has only been swimming a few years with Ronnie and Donnie so she is only scratching the surface of her swimming career. Her coaches speak highly of Niki and we respect Ronnie and Donnie very much, so we are going to see what Niki can do at the next level."