The Bruins are still getting started.
No. 23 UCLA swim and dive (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) will welcome UC Santa Barbara (0-0, 0-0) this weekend for a dual meet. Despite only being about a month into the season, this will be the Bruins’ last home meet of 2019.
UCLA is coming off of a victory over Pac-12 foe Utah in its last dual meet, which saw the Bruins win 13 of 14 events to take the 177-84 victory.
Despite this being UCSB’s first dual meet of the season, the Gauchos are coming into the weekend having won their first two competitions of the season, the CSU Bakersfield Sprint Classic and the Roadrunner Invitational last weekend.
In the CSUB Sprint Classic, UCSB collected more than double the points of the second place winner and followed that up with another win the next day at the Roadrunner Invitational, at which the Gauchos won nine of the 11 events.
UCLA is 34-1 all-time versus UCSB, having defeated the Gauchos at home last season 160.5-95.5 as part of a trimeet with UC San Diego in January.
“They’re going to give us a really good meet, they’ve already had some fast swims early this season,” said coach Jordan Wolfrum. “Santa Barbara has really good swimmers, and they always come and swim very tough, so we certainly need to put forth a strong lineup.”
With the team two meets into Wolfrum’s first season with the program, senior Amy Okada said the team is starting to settle in with both the new coaching staff and new freshmen on the team, allowing the Bruins to up their intensity in training.
“With the new coaches, there’s a new sort of energy found, which is helping us train really hard,” Okada said. “We’ve really worked together to adjust to the new coaching and the new team, and we’re doing a really good job. And we’re tight as a team because we’re always working really hard and pushing each other.”
Freshman Lauryn Johnson said the way the Bruins train is also much more focused on working as a team, something that Johnson said has helped her adjust to her new environment.
“The camaraderie of this team is so much different from what I’m used to on club teams,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot more of a positive environment here, and I’m able to focus on training with my teammates and focusing on doing better for myself, but I’m also encouraging people to do their best. I think the positive energy from everyone else really helps me, and clearly it’s helping everybody else too.”
It’s been two weeks since the Bruins’ last meet against the Utes, and Wolfrum said the longer break has been especially advantageous since the Bruins will have much shorter breaks between meets during the latter part of the season, especially if any swimmers end up competing in the NCAA championships.
“It’s really important; … we’re preparing not just for meet to meet, but also for session to session,” Wolfrum said. “NCAAs is a seven-session meet, where you might be swimming four times a day, so we’re training for that as much as we’re training for one meet to the next.”
The meet will start at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon at Spieker Aquatics Center.