LONG BEACH, Calif, February 24. AFTER the final day of competition at the Big West Championships, the Pacific women’s swim team were crowned the Big West champions for the third consecutive year after posting the fastest times in five of the six events swum during the day. The women ran away with the championship, finishing with 897.5 points, over 120 points more than the second place team, UC Irvine.
The third consecutive win for the women earned Pacific coach Danny May his second Coach of the Year award in as many years.
The women opened the day strong, just as they have done throughout the four days, posting the fastest time in the 1650 Free, as Laura McDonald (Riverside, Calif.) finished in 16:45.57.
In the next event, Sarah Marshall (Dixon, Calif.) tied for first place in the 200 Backstroke with a time of 1:59.26.
Lindsay McNamee (Stockton, Calif.) posted the championship time in the 100 Free as she finished in 0:50.45.
The Tigers took six of the top 10 spots in the 100 Free, earning them the most points from any event throughout the four days. All-American Shannon Catalano (Fresno, Calif.) took the championship in the 200 Butterfly with a time of 2:00.53. The Tigers finished the championships as a team, with Errecart, Kris Willey (Lodi, Calif.), Catalano and McNamee winning the 400 Free Relay with a time of 3:24.13.
UC Santa Barbara won the 2004 men’s conference title. The UC Santa Barbara men's squad ended Pacific's two-year reign with its 25th conference title. The Gauchos won seven events over the four-day period, including two relays. The Gauchos won the 200 Medley Relay with a 1:30.60 time and the 400 Medley Relay with a 3:20.01 time.
Last season's champs, Pacific, finished in second place followed by UC Irvine.
UC Santa Barbara's Gregg Wilson was named Men's Coach of the Year. It marks the 12th time Wilson has won the award.
Eric Kock, Brent Nolan, and Jason Hardy came in first through third respectively in the 1650 freestyle. Scott Baer, Ryan Dingler, Grant Hurst, and Brian Mirkovich scored second in the 400 freestyle relay.
The Pacific men took three of the six events on the day in their attempt to capture their third consecutive title winning the 200 Backstroke, the 200 Butterfly and the 400 Relay. J.P. Russell (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) took the 200 Back with a time of 1:46.52 while Matt Mills (San Ramon, Calif.) won the 200 Butterfly with a time of 1:48.32. Just as the women had done before them, the men finished the day as a team with Mills Will McLaughlin (El Cajon, Calif.), Russell and Vince Martinez (Castro Valley, Calif.) taking the 400 Free Relay in a time of 2:59.49.
The UC Irvine men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams combined to win seven events at the Championships
Sophomore diver Anton Slobounov (State College, PA/State College Area HS) won both the one-meter (609.7) and the three-meter (447) competitions; defending his championships from the 2003 season.
Senior Phil Garcia (Servite HS) won the 100 free (44.72) for his first career Big West Championship. Freshman Daniel Simonsen (LaVerne/Bonita HS) won the 100 breast in a time of 55.22.
Sophomore diver Franny Brittle (Aliso Niguel HS) swept the diving competitions winning on the one-meter (473.25) and the three-meter (395.75) boards.
Sophomore Lara Bjargardottir (Reykjavik, Iceland) won her second career title in the 200 Breast with a time of 2:15.66.