Feb. 26, 2008
The 15th-ranked UCLA swim and dive begins post-season competition this week as they compete in the Pac-10 Championships. The swimming portion of the meet will be held at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, while the diving competition will be contested in Federal Way, WA. Swimming events run Wednesday through Saturday and dive events run from Thursday to Saturday.
The Bruins (5-4) have been preparing for this meet all year long and hope to come away with a fourth-place or higher finish this weekend. Head Coach Cyndi Gallagher is also gunning for a new school record in the 800 freestyle relay, which is contested on night one of the championship meet.
Last year, the Bruins finished fourth overall as Katie Nelson (1650 free) and Tess Schofield (platform) tallied individual event wins. Schofield is back and will look to defend her title on Saturday in the tower competition. She has yet to lose a platform competition this season, but has been bothered by wrist injuries which she suffered at the Hawaii Invitational back in January. Schofield is a strong competitor and will look to add crucial points to the team total.
Fellow diver Marisa Samaniego was the runner-up on both one meter and three meter last season, but is itching for her first individual crown. She has been a proven, capable competitor who has consistently posted wins on both boards during the dual meet season and will look to lead the team on the springboards in Washington.
Two-time Olympian Nicolette Teo has swam two NCAA "A" qualifiers this season in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke and ranks amongst the top-20 in the nation in both events. With her final season as a Bruin winding down, Teo is primed and ready for her highest Pac-10 finish ever. She has finished fifth in the 100 breast on two occasions at Pac-10's, while her highest 200 breast finish at the conference meet was sixth.
Junior Anna Poteete has been on a roll in recent weeks, highlighted by setting two pool records in the annual USC dual meet two weeks ago. Like Teo, Poteete has two NCAA "A" marks (50/100 free) and is a key cog to relay success for UCLA this weekend.
Freshman Dani Milligan (1650 free), Sam Vanden Berge (1650 free) and Lauren Hall (IM) have been key contributors to UCLA in just their first year as Bruins. Milligan and Vanden Berge hold the No. 3 and 4 mile times in the conference this season and should have strong performances this weekend. Hall, a versatile 'put me in any event and I'll swim' athlete, has been a key contributor for the Bruins this season in all event groups. She will compete in middle distance freestyle, IM's and relay events at Pac-10's. All three have swam NCAA "B" qualifiers this season.
Pac-10 Championship Information
Wednesday, February 27th (Finals only, 6 PM)
Thursday, February 28th (Prelims 11 AM / Finals 6 PM)
Friday, February 29th (Prelims 11 AM / Finals 6 PM)
Saturday, March 1st (Prelims 11 AM / Finals 6 PM)
Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool
4000 Olympic Plaza
Long Beach, CA 90803