March 10, 2007
Senior Katie Nelson capped off her UCLA career on Saturday night with a fifth-place finish in the 1650 Free to lead the Bruin women on the final day of the NCAA Swim & Dive Championships in Minneapolis, MN. Nelson earned All-American honors with a lifetime-best and school record-breaking swim of 16:05.04.
"It was an absolutely fantastic swim for her," said head coach Cyndi Gallagher. "She's been an awesome competitor and great leader in and out of the pool for our team. It was an incredibly fast meet and very fast mile event. She did a really great job and it was exciting.
The Bruins finished in 15th-place with 55.5 points, finishing ahead of Pac-10 rival Arizona State, who was 16th with 55 points. Auburn won the meet with 535 points, while Arizona, who led the first two days of competition, was second with 477 points.
In diving, sophomore Tess Schofield finished 13th on the tower event, posting a score of 262.50 to earn All-American honorable mention honors.
"Tess did a very nice job on platform," said dive coach Tom Stebbins. "Our whole team is very proud of her effort today and all season long."
In the 100 Free, sophomore Anna Poteete finished 27th in a time of 49.75, while senior Amy Thurman was 66th in 51.29. Senior Katie Arnold placed 42nd in the 200 Back, swimming 2:00.55 and junior Nicolette Teo finished 23rd in the 200 Breast in a time of 2:15.06.
During the meet, multiple swimmers and divers earned All-American honors. Nelson, Arnold and Samaniego earned All-American honors, while Schofield, Teo, Poteete, Thurman and Sara Clark earned All-American honorable mention recognition.
"Marisa was sensational getting 6th on the one-meter," added Gallagher. "I'm so proud of Amanda (Blong) for getting herself to this meet and for Sara (Clark) for scoring - they have had outstanding diving careers at UCLA. Also, Tess (Schofield) scoring at her first NCAA's on the platform is impressive in the diving world. Marisa and Tess are going to continue to get better and better!
"I was very happy with Nic's 100 Breast because she swam a lifetime-best and got All-American honors. Anna also swam lifetime bests in the 50 and 100 Free and that was great to see. Amy swam consistently fast and did a great job for us all year long. Katie Arnold, after two shoulder surgeries, was a great competitor for the Bruins and I was proud of her accomplishments this year.
"The meet was extremely fast this year, and it was inspiring. I feel confident that Nic and Anna learned a lot from this meet and will be able to share that with the team what we need to do to get back in the top at NCAA's next year."