Aug. 2, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara men's and women's swimming head coach Gregg Wilson is please to announce the spring signings of three future Gaucho greats.
Two of UCSB's recruits are females from Northern California. Walnut Creek's Kaitlin Freeman (Carondelet H.S./Walnut Creek Aquabears) was the 2005 North Coast Section girl's champion in the 100-yard breaststroke. Her time of 1:03.06 was fast enough to qualify her for the US Senior National Championships held in Irvine, Calif., this summer. Freeman had verbally committed to the UCSB in November of 2004, but because of her outstanding swims the Gauchos inked her to a National Letter of Intent.
"Katy's humble demeanor and outstanding ability to race in any situation is not only going to help win meets this year, but also up the ante of our training environment," Wilson said.
The second future Gaucho female swimmer is Sacramento native Elizabeth Wagner (Del Oro H.S./Sierra Marlins Swim Team).
"Liz adds depth in just about any freestyle event. As well as being an outstanding middle distance freestyler, she is an exceptional competitor in the individually medley events," Wilson explained. "However her true talent shines in the backstroke events where she also made a new U.S. Senior National qualifying event in the 200 back."
Santa Barbara assistant coach Jeremy Kipp will be responsible for much of Wagner's training.
"Not only am I looking forward to working with a student athlete like Liz, but I am also dedicated to taking her to the next level of her swimming career," he said.
The Gaucho men inked one additional swimmer for next year's roster. Cerritos college transfer Robert Garcia (Cerritos, Calif.) will add depth to an already outstanding middle distance freestyle group.
"Of all of our men's groups, middle distance freestyle is probably our strongest as far as depth goes on the team. Even though Robert is very quick coming in out of the JC ranks, he should truly blossom in the presence and atmosphere that our national-level freestylers create," Wilson stated.
Because of the efforts of the UCSB swimming staff and team, the program enjoyed one of the best recruiting classes in Wilson's tenure. Because of this it was decided to challenge the teams with a tougher schedule next season. Highlights include showdowns with both Arizona State and Arizona on the road, programs that annually finish among the top-10 nationally on both the men's and women's side.
"Both of the Arizona schools are coached by close friends of mine and quite frankly we have not had the talent to compete with them over the years," Wilson said. "As a coach, you want your team to be competitive against other top programs, and we feel that as a staff we have one of the best swim teams in the country."
Other notable competitions for the Gauchos are Pac-10 powers USC and UCLA, while the women have also scheduled Big Ten powerhouse Penn State.
"Last year we were a few places shy of being ranked top-25 on both sides and we did not win the conference title. So our goal for this season is to win the Big West Championship for both the men and the women as well as crack the top-25 list on both sides."