Gauchos Close Out Pepperdine Winter Invite with Overpowering Wins

Doug Nogueira and Jolen Griffin
Doug Nogueira and Jolen Griffin

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – Having set the bar high after the first two days of competition, the UC Santa Barbara men's and women's swim teams finalized their wins at the Pepperdine Winter Invite on Sunday evening at East Los Angeles College. Both teams beat out all the competition, a field which included conference rivals UC San Diego and Cal Poly as well as CSU Bakersfield. The men finished with 1,380.5 points and a comfortable margin over second-place UC San Diego who had 725. The women's leaderboard was also not close, as the Gauchos sat on top with 1,327.5 points, in front of San Diego's women who finished second with 817.

Head coach Matt Macedo was proud of his team's performance in and out of the pool. "Our team did a nice job these past four days in many different areas. Not only did we race well, but the team did an excellent job supporting each other through the great races and those that didn't go the way we wanted," he said. "We try to view our fall invite as a conference rehearsal and this was a positive sign of the fall training we put in. Things are looking good as we approach our winter training camp after the upcoming final exams," Macedo continued.

Over the course of the meet Emily Boggess, Heaven Quintana, and Zoe Cosgrove were key pieces. Boggess earned two first and two second-place individual finishes, while Quintana and Cosgrove each had two first place-wins of their own. For the men, Joe Lastelic, Doug Nogueira, and Dominic Falcon played huge roles. Lastelic and Nogueira each picked up first-place wins to go along with two second-place finishes, while Falcon had first, second, and third-place finishes.

"[Cosgrove] had a great meet, breaking four school records," said Macedo. "[Boggess] had many tough races, and while this wasn't her focus meet, she is racing really well and discovered that her 100 Fly has NCAA potential." Macedo continued, "It was also really exciting to have our senior captain [Quintana] back and see her swim her lifetime best time in the 100 Breast, which is also close to earning her an NCAA invite."

Macedo also had high praise for several members of the men's squad, saying "[Nogueira] and [Lastelic], along with Kian Brouwer and Jolen Griffin led the way for the men, putting up big points in a number of events." Macedo appreciated the toughness of two lower-classmen, Falcon and sophomore Dan Marella. "[Falcon] really showed his toughness and versatility, as his event lineup was as tough as it gets. [Marella] caught a stomach bug early in the meet but was committed to stepping up for his team. We look forward to seeing what he can do at our conference meet when at one hundred percent." 

During Sunday's finals, the freshman Cosgrove and senior Lastelic both earned first-place wins. Cosgrove won the 200 Back (1:56.38), in which she set a new school record by about 1.3 seconds, the fourth UCSB record broken by Cosgrove over the last 72 hours. Lastelic touched the wall first in the 1650 Free with a time of 15:34.66, continuing his stellar year.

The men also had three second-place finishers on Sunday including the redshirt senior Nogueira, sophomore Justin Nguyen, in addition to Falcon. Nogueira built on his success from the previous two days, taking second in the 200 Back (1:47.84), while Nguyen earned his first individual top-three finish of the meet with second place in the 100 Free (44.03). Falcon showed no signs of slowing down as his standout freshman year continues, earning second place in the 200 Fly (1:48.11).

Freshman Daniel Pry and senior Marcello Quarante both had third-place victories, Pry in the 200 Back (1:47.84) and Quarante in the 200 Breast (2:00.60). The performance was Pry's first top-three finish of his young college career.

On the women's side, Boggess, Brittney Straw, and Maelynn Lawrence each picked up second-place wins, while Elena England grabbed a third-place spot for the Gauchos. Boggess continued her outstanding season, finishing second in the 1650 Free (16:44.62). Straw picked up her second individual second-place finish of the meet in the 200 Breast (2:18.10), in addition to her fourth-place finish in the 400 IM yesterday. The freshman Lawrence added to an impressive meet, taking second in the 200 Fly (2:01.31), adding to her third-place finish in the 400 IM yesterday. England finished third in the 200 Back after taking second in the 100 Back earlier in the meet.

To end the day, the women's "A" relay team swam the 400 Free Relay in 3:21.01 for a second-place finish, while the men's "A" team earned first-place with a time of 2:55.77.

The Gauchos will return to competition when they head across the country to the US Open at Georgia Tech on Dec. 4th.