Huskies Finish Best-Ever Fifth at Pac-10 Championships
Feb. 28, 2009
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Erin Campbell became just the fourth Washington woman to win a Pac-10 individual swimming title, capturing the 200 back in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:51.33, leading the No. 24 Huskies to a best-ever fifth-place finish in the 2009 Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the Weyerhaeuser Aquatic Center.
Campbell shattered her own school record in the event in the prelims, qualifying first in 1:51.27, shaving nearly four seconds off her previous best time. That time is also the third-fastest 200 back in the country this year. She then swam just .06 slower in the finals to win by a healthy margin. Kim Harada won UW's first individual Pac-10 title in 2003 in the 200 free while Ariana Kukors won two titles last season (200 and 400 IM) and Kim Jasmer won the 500 free.
The team accomplishment for the Huskies is remarkable, considering they beat two teams that have a diving program while the Huskies are one of three teams who are at a disadvantage without receiving points from diving. UW overcame both No. 19 UCLA and Arizona State to finish fifth for the first time since Pac-10 swimming started back in 1986. The last time the Huskies even finished as high as sixth was 1995-96.
Last year the Huskies finished just seventh at Pac-10s but went on to finish a program-best 12th at NCAAs.
'We have a smaller team this year but every single one of our girls swam their heart out and did a great job. It's a really tight group with a lot of tough girls. I'm really proud of them,' Washington head coach Whitney Hite said. 'I've sad all along: this is a better team than last year. I don't know how we'll do at NCAAs, but we're a stronger team for sure. For us to walk away with fifth here is pretty remarkable.'
The Huskies were just ahead of UCLA heading into the final event of the night - the 400 free relay - and their team of Kelly Flynn, Lindsey Sharp, Amelia Messegee and Campbell finished fourth in 3:18.95 to UCLA's seventh-place finish to clinch the fifth spot by 18 points.
Junior Petra Radovic nearly joined Campbell in winning a Pac-10 title, taking second in the 1650 free. Her time of 16:14.67 is a new school record, besting Jasmer's time set at last year's Pac-10 Championships. Sophomore Ashley Daly also swam in the A final, finishing seventh in 16:24.07, which ranks third all-time behind Jasmer.
Freshman Hannah Ross also swam in the A final of the 200 back with Campbell and finished eighth in 1:56.61. Her prelim time of 1:53.89 broke Campbell's original school-record time.
Senior Genevieve Patterson finished seventh in the 200 breast, her second top-eight finish of the weekend. She recorded a personal-best time of 2:11.58, the second-fastest time in UW history.
Additionally, Flynn and Sharp both swam well in the 100 free C final, notching personal best times of 49.57 and 49.61, respectively. Each earned NCAA B times with Flynn moving up to second all-time at UW and Sharp moving up to third.
No. 9 California won its first-ever Pac-10 women's swimming title with 1,550, finishing ahead of defending champion Arizona, which finished second with 1,339, and Stanford, which was third with 1,317. USC finished fourth with 915 while the Huskies totaled 697 points.
The UW men take over next week when they head to the men's Pac-10 Swimming Championships in Long Beach, Calif., March 4-7. The women's NCAA Championships take place March 19-21 in College Station, Texas, while the men's take place, March 26-28, also in College Station.
1, California, 1,550
2, Arizona, 1,339
3, Stanford, 1,317
4, USC, 915
5, Washington, 697
6, UCLA, 679
7, Arizona State, 564
8, Oregon State, 412
9, Washington State, 341