The Captain's Blog No. 2

Jan. 28, 2009

As our battle-tested team emerged from the locker room to the pool deck for Monday morning's workout, there was a noticeable air of pride and satisfaction in the demeanor of our Husky team. Both our men's and women's squads had both just returned from a victorious weekend in Los Angeles. Our men thoroughly dismantled the 21st-ranked USC Trojans for the second year in a row and the women turned some heads by taking down the 16th-ranked Bruins.

Our guys came out swinging on Friday with something to prove: that the UW is a force to be reckoned with in the swimming powerhouse that is the Pac-10 Conference. We did exactly that by winning nine of 12 individual events against USC. Andre Blyth was the superstar of the meet. He dominated the butterfly events. He won the 200 butterfly by nearly four seconds with a NCAA B consideration time and blazed into the wall ahead of Indian Olympian Ankur Poseria in the 100 fly, touching at 48.87 seconds. Andre was one of four Huskies to take double wins that day. Scott Spansail took care of the distance events, as usual, winning both the 1000 and 500 freestyles. Evan Bernier continued to be reliable in the sprints by winning the 100 and 50 freestyles. Russ Mahan pulled out the wins in the breaststroke events, including a real breakout performance in the 200. Everyone really stepped up for this meet. By meet's end, everyone in attendance - including USC football coach Pete Carroll - could see that the Dawgs wanted it more.

On Saturday, the girls faced off with UCLA. They were hungry for a win after falling to USC the day before by the narrowest of margins: one point. Erin Campbell won both the 100 butterfly and 200 backstroke. Genna Patterson also won two for our women in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. Hannah Ross also won in the 100 backstroke. Where the girls really dominated though was the relays. They got the meet started off with a win in the 400 medley relay. After the last individual event, the girls were down to the Bruins going into the final event: the 400 freestyle relay. They needed a win in this relay to win the meet. At the end of this pressure-packed relay, our women's 'A' squad of Kelly Flynn, Amelia Messegee, Genna Patterson and Lindsey Sharp got their hand on the wall first, with Ally Rich, Emilee Jennings, Petra Radovic and Marisa Chang of the 'B' relay taking second! It was a huge exclamation point for the upset.

We are back to work this week, training hard as we start to funnel our energy and sharpen our skills to prepare for the Pac-10 Championships that are now just a month away. We are confident and driven to make this the most successful Pac-10s in recent history, which will springboard us to the NCAA Championships in March.

GO DAWGS!! - Jon Banker


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