SUMMER 2008
 
FEATURES
 
  Walter Capps’ Vietnam War Class Still Making an Impact
By Vic Cox ‘64
  More Than 1,000 Gauchos Returned to Campus for the All Gaucho Reunion
  Retired Women’s Basketball Coach Mark French Shares His Greatest Moments
By John Zant ‘68
  Alumni Awards Spotlight Service and Work of Jim Barber, Mark French, Elizabeth Gabler, Petra Van Koppen, and Arthur Rupe
 
DEPARTMENTS
  Editor’s Column:
Gateway to Learning
  Research Roundup:
Microscopic Black Holes Pose Little Threat
  Sports Roundup:
Gaucho Key to MLB All-Star Gamee
  Around Storke Tower:
News & Notes From the Campus
  Alumni Authors:
Books for Body, Mind and Soul
  Milestones:
’40s to the Present
   
COVER
  Swimmer Jason Lezak ’99 will be making his third
Olympic appearance in Beijing this month.
Cover photo by Getty Images.
 
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2008 OLYMPIC GAMES
GAUCHOS GO FOR THE GOLD
Lezak Continues Medal Run With Bronze in 100 and Gold in Relay

Former UC Santa Barbara swimmer Jason Lezak ’99 capped off his incredible Olympic Games with another terrific performance, anchoring the men's world-record setting 400-meter medley relay, allowing Michael Phelps to capture his eighth gold medal.

Lezak took a narrow lead of less than one second from Phelps, who entered the water trailing Australia and Japan for the butterfly. Lezak, a 1999 graduate from UCSB, then touched the wall finishing the event in 3 minutes, 29.34 seconds. Australia took silver, finishing in 3:30.04.

The previous world record was set by the Americans in Athens four years ago with a time of 3:30.68.

"I was thinking not to blow the lead," Lezak told The Associated Press. "I was really nervous."

After catching up and then overtaking the two in front of him, Phelps passed off to Lezak while the Australians countered with former world record-holder Eamon Sullivan as their anchor.

Sullivan tried to chase down Lezak and appeared to be gaining as they came to the wall.

Phelps leaned over the blocks, looking to make sure Lezak touched first. Assured the Americans had won, he thrust both index fingers in the air, pumped his right arm and let out a scream.

Lezak helped an American relay team win gold for the second time in the Beijing Olympics, this one following his memorable push in the 4x100 freestyle relay when he stunned France's Alain Bernard completing a come-from-behind victory and keeping Phelps' dream for eight alive.

That dream was completed with Lezak's final swim of these 2008 Olympics.

Lezak also earned an individual bronze medal last week in the 100-meter freestyle, giving him two bronze and three gold medals combined in two Olympic Games. 

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report


Want to read a funny story about how three UC Santa Barbara students brought the American art form of heckling to the Chinese Olympics?  Click the link on the right.
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ON THE ROAD TO BEIJING
Todd Rogers — Beach Volleyball



Former Gaucho Todd Rogers ’96 and beach volleyball partner Phil Dalhausser took its first victory of the Olympic Games on Aug. 11, defeating Switzerland's Sascha Heyer and Patrick Heuscher, 21-15, 21-10 in 42 minutes in a pool play match at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground.

After losing to Latvia's 23rd-ranked Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, Dalhausser and Rogers, ranked second, improved their pool play record to 1-1. They will face Argentina's Mariano Joaquin Baracetti and Martin Alejo Conde on at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13 for the chance to advance to the Round of 16. All the teams in Pool B are now tied at 1-1.

"It was a much better game on our side," Rogers said. "Considering how poorly we played against Latvia, it felt very, very good."

Showing a return to the form they displayed when they won three straight SWATCH FIVB World Tour Events in June and July, Dalhausser and Rogers dominated the match, scoring on 23 kills, seven blocks, and four aces. Heyer and Heuscher scored on 18 kills and two aces with no blocks.

Mark Warkentin —10K Open Water Race

Volunteer assistant swim coach Mark Warkentin ’84 qualified for his first Olympics at the 5th FINA Open Water World Championships in the 10K open water race. The National Champion earned his spot at the Olympics after finishing 7th in a time of 1:53:37.1. The 2008 Summer Olympics will hold the first 10K marathon swimming event at the Games. “My timing for this open water was perfect. If the 10k wasn’t added until 2012, I might not be an Olympian,” said Warkentin, who has competed in three Olympic Trials.

Brian Alexander — Water Polo

Brian Alexander ’05 is heading to Beijing as an alternate for the Men’s Water Polo team. He serves as a power driver on the men’s team, which begins competition Aug. 10 against China. Alexander played on the UCSB men’s water polo team during the 2001-04 seasons and was a two-time All-American.

Bob Alejo — Volleyball Coaching

Bob Alejo, the strength and conditioning director at UCSB since 2005, will be joining Rogers and Dalhausser in a coaching capacity.

Wolf Wigo — NBC Water Polo Analyst

UC Santa Barbara head men’s and women’s water polo coach, Wolf Wigo, will serve as a water polo analyst at the Beijing Games for NBC this summer. A three-time Olympian and former captain of the USA Water Polo Men’s National Team, Wigo will provide his insight and expertise during the NBC broadcasts of both the men’s and women’s water polo contests.

Russ Hafferkanp — NBC Water Polo Stats Gatherer

Alum Russ Hafferkanp ’76, who was named All-American in water polo in 1975, will serve as a water polo stats gatherer for NBC.
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