Feb. 13, 2010
Despite falling to USC in Pac-10 dual meet action, the Bruin swimming and diving team had quite a meet as they swam 14 NCAA qualifying times, 21 lifetime-bests and 37 season-bests were achieved during the loss. USC (11-2, 4-2 Pac-10) defeated UCLA (5-4, 2-4 Pac-10) 164.5-135.5 on Saturday afternoon.
"This was a fantastic meet," said head coach Cyndi Gallagher. "The sun was shining and both teams were competing hard. We had many lifetime and season-best times, which is what I expected at this point in the season. We are taking one meet at a time and this is a big step forward in our preparations for Pac-10s and NCAAs.
"Our goal for this meet was to compete with the best, swim our best and get as many athletes qualified for NCAAs. I'm excited for our team and the upcoming postseason."
The Bruins set the pool ablaze with fast times and strong performances as Brittany Beauchan, Bianca Casciari and Madison Fitzgerald led the team with event wins. Beauchan was a double winner in the 100 (1:01.12) and 200 (2:11.81) breaststroke as she set new Spieker Aquatics Center facility records in the process. Casciari led a Bruin sweep in the 100 fly with her facility record winning time of 53.81. Finishing behind Casciari were Yasi Jahanshahi (season and lifetime-best) in second with an NCAA B time of 54.11 and Lindsey Marchand in third (54.24).
Fitzgerald had one of the most memorable performances of the meet as she edged out USC's Christel Simms by .03 seconds in the 50 free, touching first with a season-best time of 23.37.
Other Bruins swimming NCAA B qualifiers were Sam Vanden Berge in the 1650 free (16:25.48, 2nd), Alex Sullivan in the 200 free (1:47.77, lifetime and season-best, 2nd), Lauren Hall in the 200 free (1:49.22, lifetime and season-best, 4th) and the 200 breast (2:12.76, lifetime and season-best, 2nd), Laurence Delisle in the 100 back (55.16, lifetime and season-best, 3rd) and 200 back (1:57.14, lifetime and season-best, 3rd), Kelsey Louden in the 100 breast (1:02.94, lifetime and season-best, 5th) and 200 breast (2:15.07, lifetime and season-best, 4th), Jahanshahi in the 200 fly (1:56.55, lifetime and season-best, 3rd), Karoline Sanderud in the 200 fly (1:59.79, lifetime and season-best, 5th), Casciari in the 400 IM (4:15.99, lifetime and season-best, 3rd) and Dani Milligan in the 400 IM (4:17.36, season-best, 5th).
UCLA won the final event of the day, the 400 free relay (3:23.86) after USC was DQ'd. That time was a new facillity record.
The divers were led by freshman Michelle Vale who tallied lifetime-best on both 1M (255.90) and 3M (279.15), placing third on both springboards.
"My team was great today," said dive coach Tom Stebbins. "We keep getting better and I am looking forward to the conference meet in two weeks. Michelle had a huge PR on three-meter today and that was great to see. I can't wait for the upcoming weeks."
The Bruins now head into the postseason with the Pac-10 Championships up next. The divers will travel to Federal Way, WA for the conference meet Febraury 25-27, while the swim portion of the meet will be held in Long Beach February 24-27.