Stockton, Calif. – Despite heavy rain, the Tigers put up a strong fight before losing to the UCSB Gauchos in a dual meet on Senior Day. The women's team lost 157-96 while the men's team lost 166-96 in the last home meet for the men's senior class. "This class was freshmen when I took over, so they mean a lot to me," said Head Coach Peter Richardson. "There's more to come from them in three and a half weeks [at the conference championships]."
A 200 Medley Relay win for the Pacific men kicked off the day as the Tigers would go on to beat UCSB in both the men's relays for the first time in Richardson's tenure. "To see our men step up and sweep the relays really says a lot," said Richardson of the performance. In the 200, Angel Alcala, Yahav Shahaff, Jared Vu, and Miles MacKenzie combined to swim a 1:32.02.
Alcala was appearing in his first meet as a Tiger and also took second in the 100 Back. "He's a little rough around the edges but he really stepped up," said Richardson. "He got us near the front with his leg of the relay."
MacKenzie helped Pacific to another top finish with a win in the 100 Free at 46.06. He also had a second-place swim in the 50 Free, swimming a 21.04 that was just .01 behind the leader.
Jana Burkard won the 1000 Free for the Tigers, swimming in her second-to-last home meet. Burkard put up a time of 10:23.99, seven seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. For the men, Lee Ward had "a gutsy swim" in the 1000, putting up a time of 9:44.97 despite dealing with an injury. Burkard also took second in the 500 Free with a 5:02.09.
Yahav Shahaff was back in the pool after missing the last home meet and immediately won his first event, swimming a 57.62 in the 100 Breast. Toy took third for the Tigers in that event with a 59.42.
Richardson praised all the seniors for all they have done for the program, referring to Casey Fleming as "a rock" for the swim team. "Brandon Presswood was a real middle-of-the-road swimmer three years ago and now he's going to the Olympic trials," said Richardson in praise of Presswood's abilities after the senior swam a 1:44.00 in the 200 Free.
Next up for the Tigers will be a road meet for the women at Loyola Marymount tomorrow, January 23, at 1:00 pm. "If we can brave these conditions today, a five-hour drive to LA is nothing," said Richardson. "We'll swim faster and we're excited for tomorrow."