Saturday, April 13

UCLA swim and dive coasts past UCSB with largest win differential of season

Freshman Angela Quan rises out of the pool during a butterfly race for UCLA swim and dive.(Felicia Keller/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Swim and Dive

UC Santa Barbara95
No. 23 UCLA159

This post was updated Oct. 22 at 9:24 p.m.

The Bruins won 12 straight events.

No. 23 UCLA swim and dive (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) defeated UC Santa Barbara (1-1, 1-0 MPSF) on Friday at Spieker Aquatics Center by 64 points – its biggest win differential of the dual meet season – improving its all-time record against the Gauchos to 38-1. The teams swam 14 total events, and out of those, the Bruins won 13.

Coach Jordan Wolfrum said the win showed off the team’s depth.

“We were better this weekend than we were last weekend,” Wolfrum said. “We just keep getting better, and I’m really proud of that – more so than the podium sweeps or any of those pieces.”

The team placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in four out of the 14 events. The first podium sweep of the day was in the 200-yard freestyle, in which junior Gizem Guvenc placed first, followed by sophomore Rosie Murphy and freshman Katy Pacher.

Guvenc said she used the nearly three-second win to set the baseline for the rest of her day.

“After I did the 200, I felt really powerful, that’s why I was like, ‘OK, I can do the 100 really well,'” Guvenc said. “It just gave me confidence.”

Guvenc also won the 100-yard freestyle, where she was the sole Bruin on the podium.

Junior Paige MacEachern secured her sole individual event win of the day by a large margin; she won the 1000-yard freestyle by 14.44 seconds.

Wolfrum said it takes intrinsic motivation to continue racing when you are that far ahead of the other athletes.

“They (Guvenc and MacEachern) are two athletes who are so well aware of their own personal goals that they know they’ve got to find something internal,” Wolfrum said. “Their goals go beyond being the best person in the pool today, it’s being the best person in the pool at the most important meets at the end of the season.”

Most of the podium sweeps, though, were secured by a small time margin. Junior Eva Carlson secured her third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle by 0.15 seconds. Freshman Angela Quan placed third in the 100-yard backstroke by 0.3 seconds.

Quan said she was proud of her performance in the backstroke.

“Usually, fly is my best event – it’s just what I train more,” Quan said. “But, at this meet, I was happier with my 100 back than my 100 fly.”

This was also the first home meet of the season after two weeks on the road. The Bruins will have five more home dual meets in the 2023-2024 season.

Wolfrum said competing at Spieker Aquatics Center is always a fun experience.

“It was awesome,” Wolfrum said. “It’s fun to be at home and be in our own space. It’s fun to have our home crowd, get to have our families – that was a lot harder at Washington State and Fresno. It feels good. It feels right.”

UCLA will return to action at home Oct. 27 to face off against Illinois.

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Baker is currently a Sports contributor on the swim & dive beat.

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