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UC Santa Barbara Men and Women Claim Big West Swimming & Diving Crowns

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The UC Santa Barbara men and women showed their dominance at the Big West Swimming & Diving Championships, claiming the team titles after the four day event at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif.

For the Gaucho women, their 880 points claimed their fourth consecutive and 13th overall championship in program history. UC Davis finished in second with 745 points, while Pacific wrapped up the competition in third with 529 tallies. The fourth position belonged to Cal Poly with 526 points, while UC Irvine (417) and Cal State Northridge (239) wrapped up the women’s 2009 league meet.

The men's race was a tight one as UCSB claimed the crown with 849.5 points, just 17 points ahead of second place UC Davis (832.5). UC Irvine completed the top three with 636.5 points, while fourth place belonged to Pacific with 426.5 points. Cal Poly (363) and Cal State Northridge (219) finished up the standings in the men’s title race.

The four day meet was one of the best in conference history as the women's side saw six conference records set and two meet only records fall, while the men's races saw eight Big West marks cemented into the history books, while two meet-only records fell.

The final day of action began with diving competitions as the men's one-meter and women's three-meter finals grabbed the opening spotlight. The men's competition saw UC Irvine take the top spot as Miles Smith claimed the title with 316.70 points. The Anteaters made it a sweep of the diving events as Melanie Grosvenor won the championship with 277.60 points.

The first event in the swimming pool was the most difficult endurance race, the 1650 free. Lacy Buck claimed another individual title in the women's race as the Cal Poly swimmer finished the race in 16:34.55. On the men's side of things, Pacific's Matthew Lundy took first with an NCAA 'B' cut time of 15:19.10.

The 200 back was next on the docket and Pacific’s Jun Huang picked up the crown after topping the field in 1:58.49. Chris Good helped UC Santa Barbara pick up points with his victory in the men’s race, finishing the event in 1:45.40.

UCSB's Anne Marie May picked up another crown in the next event, the 100 free. The junior broke a nine year old meet record after finishing the race in 48.91, .4 better than the previous mark. The Gauchos made it a sweep in the event after Kevin Kuhn won the men’s competition in 43.74.

The next race had two of the stars of the Championships, Katy Freeman of UC Santa Barbara and Heidi Kucera of UC Davis in head-to-head competition. The duo put together a dazzling race in the 200 breast, with Freeman's time of 2:09.12 besting Kucera's 2:09.41. Both times were good enough to be NCAA ‘A’ qualifying marks.

The men's version of the 200 breast saw one of the oldest records in conference history fall as Scott Weltz of UC Davis swam the event in 1:54.91, besting the time of 1:58.32 that current UC Irvine coach Brian Pajer set in 1990.

The UC Santa Barbara women added another individual title in the next event as Erin Yamamoto took first in the 200 fly with a time of 2:00.96. The men's race saw UC Irvine's Randall Tom set his second conference record of the meet with a time of 1:43.63, besting a mark that was set a year ago by former teammate Eddie Erazo.

The final event of the 2009 Championships was the 400 free relay and UC Santa Barbara made to win both races in style. The Gaucho women's contingent of Nadia Dwidar, Naomi Javanifard, Courtney Bauer and Anne Marie May set a conference record with a time of 3:18.76, topping former Big West member Nevada's record that had stood since 1998. The UCSB men also went out in record-breaking fashion, toppling the Big West mark with its time of 2:54.93.

2009 Big West Swimming & Diving Championships
Women's Results
1. UC Santa Barbara - 880
2. UC Davis – 745
3. Pacific – 529
4. Cal Poly – 526
5. UC Irvine – 417
6, Cal State Northridge – 239

Men's Results
1. UC Santa Barbara – 849.5
2. UC Davis – 832.5
3. UC Irvine – 636.5
4. Pacific – 426.5
5. Cal Poly – 363
6. Cal State Northridge – 219