Oct. 23, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - This season the UC Santa Barbara women's swim team is looking to capture another Big West Conference title for the fifth consecutive year. The Gauchos and their coaching staff hope to continue to build upon their sterling reputation with many strong competitors returning as well as the addition of several promising young freshmen.
The Gauchos will get their first test of the season this Saturday when they host UCLA and Oregon State in a triple dual meet at Campus Pool.
The Gauchos are hoping to once again be a threat in relays this season, which have been a major strength for the team in the past years.
Last year, UCSB placed 19th in the 400 medley relay and took 17th in the 200 medley relay at the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships. The free relays were also strong, breaking the Big West Conference and UCSB records in both the 200 and 400 free relays.
The Gauchos will not be as confident as they were last season in the breaststroke events with the loss of their All-American and World University Games swimmer, Katy Freeman. This season, UCSB will be relying on senior Carri Cook to pick up where Freeman left off. Cook placed 10th in the 200 breaststroke and 12th in the 100 breaststroke at the Big West Championships in 2009.
UCSB's strongest stroke this season will definitely be the freestyle. The women will be under the leadership of captain Anne Marie May, an Academic All-American in 2009. May placed 15th in the 50 free at the 2009 NCAA Championships and was an All-American after taking third in the same event in 2008. The UCSB 50 free record-holder also competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials where she placed 14th in the 50-meter freestyle.
Returnee and senior, Naomi Javanifard will be the top competitor for the Gauchos in both the backstroke and butterfly events. Javanifard, an Academic All-American, competed in the 2009 NCAA Championships in the 100 backstroke and the 200 and 400 medley relays. Javanifard will have help from teammate senior Katie Ure, who placed second in the 200 butterfly, third in the 200 backstroke and seventh in the 200 IM at the 2009 Big West Championships.
UCSB is getting ready to host its sixth consecutive tri-meet against UCLA and Oregon State this Saturday with hopes of shining even though the competition looks tough.
The win this weekend will not be easy against UCLA, who, according to coach Gregg Wilson, "has tremendous depth on their team."
UCLA has won all the previous meets between the teams and OSU's strong coaching staff headed by Larry Leibowitz, has propelled the Beavers to be top contenders in the Pac-10 this year.
Looking to help the Gauchos this weekend will be their stacked lineup of freshmen.
Wilson said he is going to have to rely on his freshmen more than before this season, but strong performances Adamczyk, Katie Tomkinson and Hunt could bring in big points for the Gauchos.
This weekend's tri-meet is not only going to be an important meet for the new swimmers, but the veterans will also need to step up.
The last two years have been very close meets between the three teams and this Saturday's meet is anticipated to be another hard fought competition. The 2009-10 swim season will commence at high noon at UCSB's own Campus Pool.
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.