Washington To Host Pac-10 Women's Swimming & Diving Championships

Jan. 30, 2009

SEATTLE - The University of Washington will serve as the host team for the Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, as well as the Pac-10 men's diving championships, Feb. 25-28, 2009 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

The championships will feature some of the top individual swimmers in not just the collegiate ranks but in the world, along with top-10 nationally ranked teams from Stanford, Arizona and California.

The 25th-ranked Washington Huskies will be one of nine teams competing for the title, along with No. 2 Stanford, defending Pac-10 and National Champions No. 4 Arizona, No. 9 California, No. 12 USC and No. 20 UCLA, as well as Oregon State and Washington State.

Stanford boasts last year's 400 IM national champion and world record holder Julia Smit, who also won two medals in the 2008 Olympic Games - a silver in the 400 free relay and a bronze in the 800 free relay. The junior was the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year for the 2006-07 season when she was a six-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 champion. She repeated her efforts as a six-time All-American again last season while also winning the 400 IM.

Stanford boasts two additional Olympians in silver medalist and 2007 NCAA champion in the 200 fly, Elaine Breeden, as well as 2004 Olympian, two-time NCAA champion and 13-time All-American Caroline Bruce. The Cardinal also return defending 1-meter diving Pac-10 champion Sarah Ohr.

Challenging Stanford will be defending national champion Arizona, which returns NCAA 50 free champion Lara Jackson. The Wildcats are always strong in the relays, which they swept at the 2008 NCAA Championships.

Cal, Oregon State and USC bring their own big-name swimmers to Federal Way, with the Golden Bears returning 2008 NCAA 100 fly champion Dana Vollmer while the Beavers are led by 2008 Olympian Saori Haruguchi, who was the 200 fly champion at last year's NCAA championships and competed for Japan in the Summer Olympics.

Perhaps the biggest name of all, however, hails from USC - three-time Olympic medalist Rebecca Soni, who became a household name in Beijing this summer. She established herself as one of top breaststrokers in the world, winning the gold medal in the 200 breast in a world-record time and taking a silver medal in the 100 breast. The three-time defending NCAA Champion in the 200 breast and defending champion in the 100 breast, Soni also won a silver medal with the 4x100 medley relay team.

The host Huskies pack their own punch, having finished a program-best 12th at the NCAAs last season. They are currently ranked No. 25 in the country after knocking off then-No. 16 UCLA in Los Angeles last weekend. The Huskies are led by All-Americans Erin Campbell, Emilee Jennings, Genevieve Patterson, Petra Radovic and Lindsey Sharp, and also boast a slew of talented freshmen who will look to take the Huskies to the next level.

The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center is one of the finest swimming venues in the country. Built to equip the 1990 Goodwill Games, the facility features seating for up to 2,500 spectators and ample deck space for athletes and coaches. The facility served as host for the 2008 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, the third time UW has hosted the event.

Competition starts Wednesday, Feb. 25, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 28, with a special Pac-10 Invitational second-chance meet taking place on Sunday. For tickets, click here

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