UC Santa Barbara Gains Commitment from Juniors Finalist Mason Wendler (2024)

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Two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American Mason Wendler has committed to the University of California Santa Barbara for the fall of 2024. The Concord, Calif., native trains with the Terrapins Swim Team. He shared with SwimSwam:

I am proud to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and swimming career at UC Santa Barbara! It’s been a dream of mine to compete at the collegiate level and none of this would have been possible without the endless support of my family, friends, teammates and coaches. Go Gauchos!!

As a junior at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, Calif., Wendler was a member of the 200 free relay (1:21.36) that set a California State Meet record with its win at the 2023 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Swimming & Diving Championships. His 20.61 lead-off split was good for a new best time by almost four-tenths.

In the 4th-place 400 free relay (3:00.53), Wendler’s 45.03 lead-off set another personal best and qualified for the Winter Junior National Championships.

Individually, Wendler took 4th in the 200 free (1:37.61), picking up a personal best and Summer Junior National Championships cut in the process, and he placed 8th in 500 free (4:29.67), though his personal best is 4:24.53.

Northgate finished the championships 5th in a field of 85 teams.

Last weekend at the 2023 Winter Junior National Championships (West), Wendler advanced to finals in three events, but his biggest improvement was his 49.09 showing in the prelims of the 100 fly. While it did not qualify for finals, Wendler did lower his best time by two-tenths.

His highest finish at Junior Nationals was in the 100 free. Wendler dropped six one-hundredths to qualify 17th (44.97) in prelims before shaving off more time for 14th (44.93) in finals. He placed 15th in the 500 free (4:30.86) after a season-best prelims swim (4:27.90) and 19th in the 200 free (1:37.83) with a season-best time just shy of his 1:37.61 personal best.

Wendler also achieved a season-best time during prelims for the 50 free (20.79).

Top Times (SCY):

  • 50 free – 20.61
  • 100 free – 44.93
  • 200 free – 1:37.61
  • 500 free – 4:24.53
  • 1000 free – 9:15.27
  • 1650 free – 15:58.00
  • 100 fly – 49.09

UC Santa Barbara finished 2nd at the 2023 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Swim & Dive Championships. If Wendler had been on the roster last season, his best time in the 500 free (4:24.53) would have placed 3rd and his 200 free (1:37.61) would have taken 5th. Only Austin Sparrow performed better for the Gauchos, placing 1st in the 500 free (4:21.25) and 2nd in the 200 free (1:34.94). Sparrow was a sophomore at the time, so Wendler will have a year to train and score points alongside him.

Wendler’s best time in the 1650 (15:58.00) would have placed 11th at the championships, trailing three of his future teammates. Then-sophomores Taber daCosta (15:15.05) and Jude DiStefano (15:38.33) finished in 1st and 4th, and then-freshman Matt Vinh (15:46.72) finished 9th.

In the sprint free events, Wendler would have had the 6th-fastest time on the team last season in both the 50 and 100 free, adding depth to the roster with relay potential.

This commitment from Wendler is the first reported to SwimSwam for UC Santa Barbara’s class of 2024-2025.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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2 months ago

Killer range!