This week, the #7 UCLA swimming and diving team will compete at the Pac-10 Championships. The Bruins ended the regular season with an overall record of 8-2, 5-2 in Pac-10 competition.
The Pac-10 Swimming Championships, hosted by Arizona State, will begin Wednesday, February 25, at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, CA. UCLA will host the diving championships, beginning Thursday, February 26, at Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, WA.
The Pac-10 Swimming and Diving Championships will conclude Saturday, February 28.
College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Poll
In the latest College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) poll, released February 12, the Bruins have climbed to No. 7 in the national rankings. UCLA is tied with Texas with 150 points. Auburn continues to lead the nation with 200 points and eight No.1 votes. Georgia is second with 192 points. Rounding out the top-five are No. 3 Florida (183), No. 4 California (177) and Stanford and Arizona, tied for fifth with 162 points. UCLA is one of four Pac-10 teams ranked in the top-10.
The defending Pac-10 Champion Bruins enter this year's championships with 19 returning Top-15 performers from last season's championship team. In 2003, UCLA scored 1,399 to claim its second Pac-10 title in three years. The Bruins won their first Pac-10 title in 2001, scoring 1,338 points.
Key returners from the 2003 Pac-10 Meet, along with finish and event, are Kristen Lewis (5th, 200 Fly/6th, 100 Fly), Jackie Lobdell (4th, 500 Free/6th, 1650 Free), Sara Platzer (2nd, 50 Free/3rd, 100 Free/8th, 200 Free), Malin Svahnstrom (3rd, 200 IM/4th, 200 Free/6th, 100 Free), Paige Thompson (8th, One-meter/9th, Three-meter), Kim Vandenberg (2nd, 200 Fly/4th, 100 Fly/6th, 50 Free) and Naoko Watanabe (7th, 200 Back/9th, 100 Back).
UCLA is one of three schools, including Stanford and Arizona, to win the conference team title. Over the last 23 years, UCLA is the only school other than Stanford to win more than one Pac-10 Championship.
10 Bruins are ranked in the Top-25 in the nation by Taper and Shave so far this season:
Katie Arnold (15th, 54.88, 100 Back)
Shellene Catalano (21st, 2:16.17, 200 Breast)
Jane Imagane (15th, 4:47.87, 500 Free; 23rd, 16:34.42, 1650 Free)
Kristen Lewis (6th, 1:57.08, 200 Fly; 11th, 54.01, 100 Fly)
Jackie Lobdell (22nd, 4:48.41, 500 Free)
Sara Platzer (4th, 22.70, 50 Free; 10th, 49.88, 100 Free)
Kim Scarborough (8th, 4:15.15, 400 IM; 20th, 2:01.85, 200 IM)
Malin Svahnstrom (5th, 1:58.99, 200 IM; 12th, 1:47.15, 200 Free; 23rd, 50.16, 100 Free)
Kim Vandenberg (3rd, 1:55.23, 200 Fly; 5th, 53.27, 100 Fly; 21st, 1:48.12, 200 Free; 25th, 23.18, 50 Free)
Naoko Watanabe (18th, 1:58.92, 200 Back)
All of the Bruin relays are also ranked amongst the top in the nation:
400 Free Relay: 5th, 3:20.73
200 Free Relay: 6th, 1:31.90
200 Medley Relay: 11th, 1:42.26
400 Medley Relay: 12th, 3:43.37
800 Free Relay: 14th, 7:25.57
FINA World Rankings (As of February 1, 2004)
Three Bruins are ranked in the FINA Top-20 in the world:
2004 NCAA Qualifiers
Seven Bruins have automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, held March 18-20, 2004 in College Station, TX, and 16 Bruins have provisional qualifying times.
Provisional qualifiers are Katie Arnold (50 Free, 100/200 Back), Lindsey Buck (100 Fly), Shellene Catalano (200 Breast), Jane Imagane (400 IM, 400/500/1500 Free), Courtney Iversen (200/400 IM), Kristen Lewis (100 Fly), Jackie Lobdell (200 Back, 200 Free), Isabel Miesner (200 IM), Melissa Miller (1500 Free), Katie Nelson (200/400/500/1500 Free), Sara Platzer (100/200 Free), Kim Scarborough (200 IM), Lindsey Smart (200 IM), Malin Svahnstrom (100 Free), Amy Thurman (50 Free), Naoko Watanabe (200 IM/Back) and Vandenberg (50/100/200 Free).
The following Bruin relays have also qualified provisionally: 800 Free Relay (Vandenberg, Imagane, Nieto, Winkler), 200 Free Relay (Vandenberg, Thurman, Svahnstrom, Platzer), 400 Free Relay (Vandenberg, Thurman, Svahnstrom, Platzer), 200 Medley Relay (Watanabe, Thurman, Lewis, Svahnstrom), 400 Medley Relay (Arnold, Hovsepian, Vandenberg, Platzer).
2004 NCAA Zone E Qualifiers
Bruin divers Carly Banks, Amanda Blong, Sara Clark, Janine Strack and Paige Thompson have qualified for the NCAA Zone E Championships, March 11-13 in Oklahoma City, OK. The top finishers at the Zone meet advance to the NCAA Championships.
National Letter of Intent Signees
During the Fall Signing period, Head Coach Cyndi Gallagher has received four National Letters of Intent. Head Diving Coach Tom Stebbins has received a National Letter of Intent from Heather Peng. Shannon Hackett, Erin Ketchum, Jillian Ochs, Heather Peng and Nicolette Teo will join the Bruins as true freshmen in 2004.
2004 Olympic Trials Qualifiers
With the 2004 Olympics just a few months away, nine current Bruins have already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, held June 7-14, 2004.
Leading the way are seniors Cathy Coler (200m Breast), Kristen Lewis (100m/200m Fly), Jackie Lobdell (400m Free), Katie Nelson (800m Free), Sara Platzer (50m Free) and Naoko Watanabe (100m/200m Back). Sophomore Kim Vandenberg, the 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, has qualified in the 100m and 200m Fly.
Senior Malin Svahnstrom has qualified for the Swedish Olympic Trials.
After the Pac-10 Championships, the Bruins will have a few weeks off from competition. The Bruin divers will head to the NCAA Zone E Championships, held in Oklahoma City, OK, March 11-13. The NCAA Championships will take place March 18-20 in College Station, TX.