UCI Swim Dominates CSUN
Ugg boots and parkas were the attire of choice for swimmers as the UC Irvine Men’s and Women’s Swimming teams defeated Cal State Northridge on a cold, bleak Saturday afternoon on Jan. 24 at the Anteater Aquatics Complex.
The Anteaters defeated the CSUN Matadors earlier this year in the Big West Shootout and handled them just as easily this time around with the Anteater women winning 182-101 and the men’s team by a score of 189-80.
On the men’s side, the Anteaters would take first-place points from all 16 events. Long distance specialist Roman Zarasua, though only a freshman, swam like a veteran and took first in both the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:57.77) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:55.15).
Senior standout Phil Garcia won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.57, and also the 100-yard freestyle in 47.78.
Freshman Kyle Price had an extraordinary performance, with first-place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke. He was also a member of the first-place 200-yard Medley relay team.
Senior Kareem Adnan took first in the 200-yard freestyle, as well as a second-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley.
Senior Brian Kim, who won the 200-yard breaststroke, was more than pleased with his team’s performance.
‘We definitely had a good meet today,’ Kim said. ‘I think that this team is ready to compete in the Big West Conference meet.’
On the other side, the women’s team put up a performance that rivaled the men’s. They took first-place points in 12 of the 16 events, and had several outstanding performances.
Junior star Kim Do had a near-perfect showing, taking the 100-yard backstroke (59.37) the 50-yard freestyle (25.03) and finishing a close second in the 100-yard freestyle.
Do set a meet record in the 100-yard backstroke for the win, breaking Mai Tajima’s 2003 record by 0.13 seconds.
Sophomore Lara Bjargardottir of Reykjavik, Iceland, won both the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.30) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:03.37).
All in all, the meet had more competition among the individual Anteaters than it did against the CSUN Matadors. Several of the events had UCI swimmers taking the top two or three positions in the same heat.
With less than four weeks left in the season, Head Coach Brian Pajer feels that this team will place more pressure on league rivals UC Santa Barbara and the University of Pacific than in recent years.
‘Traditionally, the UCSB men’s team is very strong and UOP has a stronger women’s team. We’re doing really well this year and I think we should do very well,’ Pajer said.
The Anteaters will next compete on Jan. 31 against the UC San Diego Tritons at the Anteater Aquatics Complex at noon.
Thereafter, UCI competes in its last home swimming meet of the season against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Feb. 7.