By ARTHUR WILKIE
UCSB SPORTS WRITER
BAKERSFIELD – The UCSB men’s and women’s swim teams both took home first-place victories at the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunner Invite on Saturday.
The wins came on the heels of both team’s victories in Friday’s meet at Cal State Bakersfield, the Sprint Classic.
Both the men’s and women’s squads were again dominant. The men racked up 723 points, almost doubling the totals of Bakersfield and Cal Poly, who tied for second with 374 points. The women finished with 584 points, 222.5 points ahead of second-place San Jose State.
The Gauchos took all three of the top spots in the men’s 400 IM and 200 breaststroke and women’s 200 IM.
In addition, the women had two of the top three finishing teams in the 400 medley relay and three of the top five spots in the 400 free relay, while the men took three of the top five spots in the 400 medley relay and first-place in the 400 free relay.
Head coach Jaclyn Rosen was satisfied with her team’s performance and saw the invitationals as good preparation for meets down the road.
“We had a great two days of racing. Our goal was to go in and practice racing. Since we haven’t swam a ton of short course races in the last year-and-a-half, we really just need to practice racing while tired,” said Rosen. “I feel like every race, we got better. We talked about little details and making sure we take advantage of our nerves. We need to get used to being nervous and swimming well so that (MPSF) Championships will feel easy. We are slowly starting to learn that.”
Freshman Michelle Tekawy had a big day, earning her first collegiate first-place win in the 400 IM (4:31.90) while also adding second-place finishes in the 200 breaststroke (2:22.71) and 200 IM (2:09.20). Freshmen Tyryn Empremsilapa and Kristin Bartlett also collected their first wins, Empremsilapa in the 200 IM (2:08.89) and Bartlett in the 200 Back (2:05.30). Sophomore Katie Nugent also took home a first-place win in the 200 breaststroke (2:22.58).
Freshman Kyle Brill had a standout performance on the men’s side, earning his first collegiate first-place win in the 400 IM (4:00.68), and later adding another win in the 200 Back (1:49.68). Matt Driscoll was another freshman who found success in Bakersfield, winning first in the 200 IM (1:52.87), second in the 100 Free (46.05), and third in the 200 Free (1:41.05).
Dominic Falcon and Dan Marella each contributed one second-place and two third-place victories, while Taber daCosta and Austin Sparrow each had second-place finishes. Weston Rowan added a third-place finish.
“Everyone played a role in our wins. We’re looking forward to an exciting season. But we know the work that comes with it,” said Rosen.