Huskies Finish 15th At NCAA Championships
March 21, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Washington women's swim team capped one of the most successful seasons in school history Saturday, finishing 15th in the NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the Student Rec Center Natatorium, posting the second-best national finish in program history.
Led by their star junior Erin Campbell, who finished fifth in the 200 back to earn a key 14 points toward the team score, the Huskies backed up last season's program-best 12th-place finish by finishing a school-record fifth at Pac-10s two weeks ago before placing 15th out of 43 teams this week.
'Erin did a great job after swimming seven races yesterday. That's tough to do and she was really tired. As good as she is, she's just starting to come into her own and she just keeps getting better and better,' Washington head coach Whitney Hite said. 'It was great to see Hannah (Ross) get a second swim, too. I didn't know how this team would perform at the start of the season, but I thought coming into this week, if we could finish in the top 20, that would be a heck of a job so to be 15th is pretty remarkable.'
The Huskies 12th- and 15th-place finishes in consecutive years mark the first time since 1985 and '86 they scored in back-to-back NCAA competitions. The accomplishment is even more impressive considering their best swimmer last season - Ariana Kukors - chose not to compete this year in order to focus on club swimming.
'These girls are exactly what the athletic department and the university would want out of its student-athletes, Hite said. 'They are hard working, they're smart and they're good people. They are outstanding citizens and they're tough and they'll never quit. To come here with six kids and place 15th shows what we've said all along: that we do more with less than any team in the country. We are very proud.'
Campbell earned individual All-American honors in her third event of the meet, finishing fifth in the 200 back in 1:52.20. She qualified for the 'A' final by swimming the seventh-fastest time in the prelims (1:53.15) then swam nearly a second faster in the finals to finish fifth, adding to her honorable mention All-American status in the 100 back and 100 fly from Friday.
Freshman Hannah Ross also earned All-American status, her first career individual All-American award. She finished 16th in the 200 back after qualifying for the 'B' final with the 11th-fastest time in the prelims. Her time of 1:53.36 in the prelims was a career-best, solidifying her No. 2 time in UW history behind Campbell in that event. She touched the wall in 1:55.88 in the finals.
Senior Genevieve Patterson swam a career-best time in the 200 breast, finishing 22nd in 2:11.43, which also solidified her No. 2 spot in UW history in that event.
Also competing Saturday for the Huskies was junior Petra Radovic, who finished 25th in the 1650 in 16:15.53, and senior Lindsey Sharp, who finished 60th in the 100 free in 50.33. The Huskies also competed in the 400 free relay, finishing 20th in 3:20.86.
In an exciting finish to the team competition which came down to the final race, California won the 400 free relay in an NCAA-record time of 3:09.88 to win their first-ever women's swimming National Championship.
Team Standings (Top 15 Listed Out of 43)
1. California, 411.5
2. Georgia, 400.5
3. Arizona, 389
4. Stanford, 312.5
5. Texas, 307
6. Auburn, 281.5
7. Florida, 239.5
8. Texas A&M , 186
9. Southern California, 157
10. Indiana, 152
11. Minnesota, 136
12. Virginia, 117
13. Tennessee, 107
14. Wisconsin, 105.5
15. Washington, 61