March 3, 2008
Cyndi Gallagher and the UCLA swim team had a solid season as 16 athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships, which are held in Columbus, OH in a few weeks. Despite the high number of qualifiers, the Bruins will only send three (possibily four) swimmers to the meet. Those heading to Nationals are junior Anna Poteete (sprint free), senior Nicolette Teo (breast) and freshman Lauren Hall (400 IM). All three women achieved the NCAA Auto time in their respective events, guaranteeing the trio a spot at the meet. Freshman Dani Milligan was just .01 seconds shy of the automatic mark in the 400 IM and still could be accepted into the meet.
In years past, several swimmers with "B" qualifiers advanced to the NCAA Championships, but this has been a highly competitive year in college swimming with incredibly fast times being posted. One of the main reasons for this influx in fast times is because it is an Olympic year and the women are swimming fast as several will vie for spots on Olympic teams later in the year.
The Bruins had a young team with nine freshmen and just five seniors, but that didn't stop the team from having an impressive year which was capped off this past weekend at the Pac-10 meet. Race after race, UCLA swimmers dropped their lifetime-best marks against some very stiff competition.
Below is a list of UCLA's 2008 NCAA qualifiers and their top times for the season.
The final accepted entries will be announced on Thursday. Several divers could join the Bruins in Ohio as the NCAA Zone meet will be held March 13-15 in Oklahoma City, OK. Marisa Samaniego and Tess Schofield competed at last year's National Championships and will lead the Bruins into the meet.