Huskies Swimmers Impress At Texas A&M Invite
Nov. 23, 2008
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - University of Washington swimmers showed they will be a force to be reckoned with when the NCAA Championships roll around next spring, flexing their muscles in the same pool Saturday where they will compete for National Championships in March.
UW finished the first of two days of competition in the Art Adamson Invitational at the Student Rec Center Natatorium on the campus of Texas A&M, site of the 2009 NCAA Championships. Despite missing all of Friday's competition while competing in a dual meet at Texas, the UW women sit seventh in the standings while the men are sixth in a field full of nationally-ranked programs.
The Washington women, who finished a program-best 12th at NCAAs last spring, showed they will challenge again for the championship as they received strong performances from seniors on down to freshman.
'We swam pretty darn well,' Washington head coach Whitney Hite said. 'I think we were getting a little tired near the end but they swam well. We're getting better which is the important thing.'
Senior Genevieve Patterson (Vancouver, Wash.) led the way for Washington, finishing second overall in the 100 breast. Patterson had the top qualifying time in the prelims of 1:01.59, which earned her NCAA consideration and was just .26 shy of her personal best. She went on to swim a 1:01.84 in the finals to finish second overall.
Also earning NCAA consideration was junior Erin Campbell (Chandler, Ariz.) who swam a time of 54.94 in the prelims of the 100 back, the fourth-fastest qualifying time which was also just .15 shy of her personal best time. Campbell finished eighth in the finals, swimming a time of 56.00. Freshman Hannah Ross (Pocatello, Idaho) finished sixth behind Campbell in the prelims in a time of 55.28 which was a personal best and moved her all the way up to fourth all time in UW history. Ross then swam a 55.94 in the finals to place seventh.
Campbell, an All-American last season, also swam well in the 100 fly, qualifying eighth in 54.32 and finishing 10th in the finals in 54.41.
Other top-20 finishers for the women were sisters Jen and Danielle Gong, who placed 11th and 17th, respectively, in the 400 IM. Jen, a junior, swam a time of 4:20.12 while Danielle, a freshman, finished in 4:22.14.
A pair of freshman also swam well in the 200 free. Kelly Flynn (The Woodlands, Texas) placed 14th with a time of 1:50.56, while Amelia Messegee (Centralia, Wash.) finished 16 in 1:53.47. Flynn's prelim time of 1:50.38 moved her into the all-time top-10 in that event as her time ranks eighth in UW history.
For the men, senior Evan Bernier (Woodinville, Wash.) was the star of the day as he placed third in the 100 back and sixth in the 100 fly. Bernier qualified second in the 100 back prelims in a season-best time of 48.99, just shy of his career-best of 48.61 which ranks second all time at UW. He then swam a time of 49.02 in the finals to finish third. Fellow senior Jon Banker (Canon City, Colo.) also swam well in the 100 back, finishing ninth in the prelims and 10th in the finals in a career-best time of 49.28, which ranks third all time at UW.
Bernier and Banker struck again in the 100 fly, placing sixth and 12th, respectively. Bernier qualified fifth in 48.17 then swam a 48.63 in the finals. Banker, meanwhile, qualified 17th in 50.12 but improved on that time with a 49.78 in the finals to place 12th.
Senior Yonatan Cohen (Neve-Monoson-Yahud, Israel) and sophomore Russ Mahan (Bellevue, Wash.) placed eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 100 breast. After they qualified in eighth and ninth in the prelims, both swimmers improved on their times to repeat their places in the finals. Cohen finished eighth in a time of 55.62 while Mahan was ninth in 55.43
The men's 800 free relay, led by Bernier, Bai, Scott Spansail and Ben Aaberg, finished fourth in 6:41.33 while the 200 medley relay, including Banker, Mahan, Andre Blyth and Bernier, finished sixth in 1:30.62.
The Huskies continue competition in the Art Adamson Invitational on Sunday starting at 7:30 a.m. PT. Live results can be found here.
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