LONG BEACH, Calif. – Chris Peterson's victory in the 50 freestyle highlighted day one action for UCSB at the Arena Invitational, which is being held at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool through Saturday.
Peterson touched the wall in 19.75 seconds, which is an NCAA 'B' cut. Kevin Ferguson was just .01 second off of the 'B' cut as he took sixth in 20.30 seconds.
Kevin Kuhn won the 50 free consolation final and took ninth overall with a time of 20.60. Garrett Thompson (20.63 finals, 20.57 preliminaries) placed 11th, Steven Ewoldt (21.03 finals, 20.69 finals) took 16th and Alex Campbell (20.97) finished 26th overall.
The Gaucho men had a strong first day overall. In the first event of the night's finals – the 200 free relay – the team of Peterson, Kuhn, Thompson and Ferguson captured second place with a time of 1:19.98, which was just .01 seconds behind first-place Stanford.
In the 500 free, three men qualified for the evening's finals. Lucas Norman was the top Gaucho finisher, taking 15th in 4:31.88. Mike London finished 23rd (4:36.93) and Andrew Barmann took 26th (4:33.13).
Evan Simoni had a strong showing in the 200 individual medley, finishing in 1:49.55, which was good for 11th place. Randy Aakhus was not far behind as he took 14th in 1:51.99. Max Horrell (1:52.62) and Ryan Garcia (1:53.61) took 27th and 28th place, respectively.
The Gaucho men capped the night off with a third-place finish in the 400 medley relay. The team of Ferguson, Simoni, Horrell and Peterson touched the wall in 3:17.66.
On the women's side, the Gauchos took eighth in both the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay. In the former, the team of Kendall Neely, Mariah Tharp, Andrea Ward and Sophia Yamauchi posted a mark of 1:33.36.
In the 400 medley relay, Allie Knight, Yamauchi, Ward and Tharp recorded a time of 3:44.57.
Yamauchi had the highest individual finish of the night for the women. She placed seventh in the 200 IM with a time of 2:00.70, which is an NCAA 'B' cut. Allie Knight placed 12th in the same event (2:02.11).
In the 500 free, Andrea Ward took 11th in 4:53.84. Kendall Neely rounded out the finals qualifiers and took 15th in the 50 free (23.36).
UCSB will continue action at the Arena Invitational on Friday. Tomorrow's events include the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 800 free relay.