Feb. 8, 2006
The No. 7 UCLA swim and dive team is set to battle the No. 11 USC Trojans on Saturday, Feb. 11 in a Lexus Gauntlet showdown. The meet, will also be the final home competition for seven Bruin seniors - Kendall Butler, Shellene Catlano, Krista Daley, Liz Keating, Eileen Seissen, Paige Thompson and Kim Vandenberg.
The winner of this weekend's dual meet will earn five points toward their school's Lexus Gauntlet total. Currently, USC holds a 32.5 to 15 point lead over the Bruins, but there are still plenty of cross-town competitions left in the year.
"We have a great rivalry with USC," said Head Coach Cyndi Gallagher. "I expect both teams to swim at a higher level, because both teams want to out score each other. Our goal is the same as it always is - get better every meet, but of course their is Bruin Pride involved when we swim against Southern Cal! We haven't changed much of what we do in the pool this week, but the team is more focused as they come to their last 3 meets - the USC dual meet, Pac-10 Championships and NCAA Championships."
Diving events begin with the one meter at 11:00 am at the Sunset Recreation Center, while swimming events begin at 12:00 pm at Men's Gym Pool.
The swim and dive team is coming off of an upset win over Stanford last weekend, a meet in which the Bruins won decisively, 180-120, as the Bruins are full steam ahead to the Pac-10 Championships two weeks from now.
UCLA has had a successful season in both the swimming and diving events. So far, the divers have qualified five divers on various boards for the NCAA Zone meet. Led by senior Paige Thompson, who won the 1M and 3M competitions last weekend against Cal, the divers are poised for a strong run in the post-season. Also qualified for the Zone Meet are - junior Sara Clark (1M/3M) and freshmen Marisa Samaniego (1M/3M), Brittany Hill (1M) and Tess Schofield (Platform).
In the swimming events, senior Kim Vandenberg continues to shine as the Bruins' leader in the pool. Vandenberg is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation in the 200 Fly (1:56.11) and has qualified for the NCAA Championships in four individual events, as well as a member of every relay. In the 100 Fly, Vandenberg holds the ninth-fastest time in the nation (53.94), while her 200 Free time of 1:47.54 ranks 12th.
Junior Katie Arnold currently ranks 10th in the nation in the 100 Back (54.48) and 14th in the 200 Back (1:58.37), while junior Katie Nelson has the 17th-fastest 500 Free time (4:47.20). Both Arnold and Nelson have achieved the NCAA "B" times in their respective events.
Also qualified for the NCAA Championships with "B" qualifiers are - Nelson in the 200 Free, Seissen and Nicolette Teo in the 100 Breast; Arnold, Anna Poteete and Amy Thurman in the 50 Free; Chiemi Yamamoto, Nelson and Jeana Fuccillo is the 400 IM; Poteete in the 100 Free; Madeleine Stanton in the 200 Back; Teo, Fuccillo and Yamamoto in the 200 Breast; Jane Imagane and Shannon Hackett in the 500 Free and Arnold in the 100 Fly.