Feb. 29, 2008
The UCLA swim and dive team moved up to fourth-place after day three of the Pac-10 Championships after an impressive night of competition in which two Bruins achieved an NCAA "A" standard, three women won their even final and the youth of the team swam to incredible times.
The swimming portion of the meet, being held in Long Beach, is one of the fastest meets in the conference's history as top national times continue to be swam in each event. Arizona leads after 14 events with 1027 points. Stanford stands in third with 964 points, followed by California (830), UCLA (652) and USC (514).
"From the outside looking in, this is one intimidating meet," said head coach Cyndi Gallagher. "The times being swam are super fast and it's exciting to see. We are having an incredible meet. I'm especially excited about our freshmen. They are treating this meet as if it were any other regular meet and they are really stepping up and swimming fast. It was a great meet for us today."
Freshman Lauren Hall started the meet off with a huge swim in the 400 IM as she raced to an NCAA "A" time and lifetime-best of 4:15.45. She won the B Consolation and was 17th overall. Freshman Sam Vanden Berge swam a lifetime-best 4:25.34 to finish 23rd overall and sophomore Julie Imagane was 24th in a time of 4:29.30 as both swam in the B Consolation.
A false start in the A Consolation didn't bother three Bruins as each one swam to new lifetime-best marks. Freshman Dani Milligan led the way with her win in a time of 4:15.64 as she finished ninth overall. Her time was just .01 seconds shy of the NCAA "A" mark. Senior Chiemi Yamamoto finished second in the A Consolation with her lifetime-best of 4:18.42 to place 10th overall. Junior Kristen Fischer was 13th overall with her top swim of 4:19.46. All but one of the six finalists swam NCAA qualifiers during the race.
Junior Anna Poteete, swimming in her second Championship Final of the meet, finished seventh overall with her time of 1:48.04. She swam a new lifetime-best and NCAA "B" mark of 1:47.03 in the prelim round. Freshman Emily Bibb won the A Consolation with her NCAA "B" swim of 1:47.69 to place ninth overall, while freshman Alex Sullivan was 15th with a lifetime-best and NCAA "B" swim of 1:49.17.
In the 100 breast, senior Nicolette Teo posted the highest Pac-10 finish of her career as she swam a lifetime-best and NCAA auto time of 1:00.92 to place fourth overall. Freshman Brittany Beauchan also swam a lifetime-best in the B Consolation, placing 11th overall with a "B" time of 1:47.69.
In the final individual event of the night, the 100 back, sophomore Isabell Fischer swam in the Championship Final, finishing eighth overall in a time of 55.14. Junior Erin Frizzell had a huge swim in the prelim rounds, bettering her previous lifetime-best by three seconds to advance to the B Consolation. She swam the exact same time in the finals (55.56) that she swam in the prelim round and finished 11th overall. Junior Madeleine Stanton finished just behind Frizzell in 12th-place with a lifetime-best swim of 55.65. All three women swam NCAA "B" marks.
The 400 medley relay team of Isabell Fischer, Teo, Hall and Poteete finished seventh with an NCAA "B" time of 3:40.46.
At the Pac-10 Diving Championships in Federal Way, WA, junior Marisa Samaniego was the highest finisher for the Bruins for the second consecutive day as she placed seventh on three-meter with a score of 281.25. Junior Brittany Hill finished 10th with a lifetime-best score of 262.75, while freshman Morgan Erpenbeck had a fine performance, posting a lifetime-best of 259.80 to place 12th overall.
The Pac-10 Championships will conclude on Saturday with the tower diving competition in Washington, and the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay concluding the swimming portion in Long Beach.