2000 Pac-10 Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Final Release

March 2000

Five Pac-10 teams finished in the top-ten at the 2000 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. ARIZONA (360.5) led the way for the Conference finishing in third, followed by STANFORD (4th, 279.5), CALIFORNIA (5th, 279), USC (6th, 249), and ARIZONA STATE (10th, 152.5).

At the NCAA Championships, Pac-10 institutions won seven individual titles. Arizona's Ryk Neethling won titles in the 200 and 400-meter freestyle events, both U.S. Open records, while finishing third in the 1,650-yard freestyle. His two wins give him nine NCAA individual titles for his four-year career, third-best in NCAA history. Only John Naber of USC (10) and Pablo Morales of Stanford (11) have more. He racked up a remarkable 56 points, second-best among individuals.

At the Pac-10's in Federal Way, Wash., Stanford (794) won its 19th consecutive Pac-10 Championship, defeating California by 32 points. California finished second (762), followed by USC (699.5), Arizona (468), Arizona State (420), and Washington (209.5). Neethling successfully defended his Conference title in the 1,650 freestyle. It was the fourth consecutive year that he won the 1,650 free.

Neethling, a 6-3 senior from Bloemfontein, South Africa, was named Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year for the fourth year in a row. The feat matches Dave Wharton of USC who is the only other swimmer to ever garner the honor four times (1988-91). At the Pac-10 Swimming Championships in Federal Way, Wash., Neethling successfully defended his Conference titles in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle. It was the fourth consecutive year that he won the 1,650 free and third consecutive year winning the 500 free.

CALIFORNIA's Anthony Ervin, a 6-2 freshman from Valenica, Calif., was named Freshman of the Year. He won two individual NCAA titles in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events, as well as swimming a leg on the winning 400-meter freestyle relay team at this year's NCAA Championships. Ervin became the first Bear to win more than one individual title since 1997. He broke the World Record in the 50 free with a time of 21.21 seconds. He also set a U.S. Open record in the 100 free with a time of 47.36. At the Pac-10 Championships, Ervin swam on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams. He had two second place markings in the 50 and 100 free.

ARIZONA's Frank Busch, has been named Coach of the Year for the second time (1993) in his 11-year career and fifth time overall (men's and women's swimming combined). Busch was also named the Women's Swimming Coach of the Year for 2000. It is the first time in Pac-10 history that a swimming coach has earned both honors in the same season. The women's award has been given since 1987 and the men's began in 1976. Busch's Wildcats finished third at the NCAA Championships, marking the best finish in school history for the men's program. Arizona placed fourth at the Pac-10 Championships.

On the diving side, Ruben Vaca of ARIZONA was named Diver and Newcomer of the Year, as he claimed two of the three individual diving events at the Pac-10 Diving Championships in Los Angeles, California. Vaca, a member of the Mexican National Team from 1997-99, won the 1-meter springboard and the platform event. Vaca also finished third in the 3-meter springboard. At the 2000 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, Vaca placed 9th, 17th, and 18th in the 1-meter, platform, and 3-meter events.

ARIZONA's Michelle Mitchell-Rocha, in her fourth year at the helm of the Arizona diving program, helped direct not only Vaca and the men's team, but also the women's team. Besides Vaca, Mitchell-Rocha also claimed three other top-seven finishers among the three events at the Conference Championships. She also helped the UA men's team to a third place finish at the NCAA Championships, the school's best finish ever. The Men's Coach of the Year award is the second of Mitchell-Rocha's career.

Five Pac-10 teams finished in the top-eight at the 2000 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. ARIZONA (472) put together it's best showing in school history to pace the Pac-10 and finish in second place behind Georgia. STANFORD (397) was third, followed by CALIFORNIA (4th, 311.5), USC (7th, 185), and UCLA (8th, 163). In all, Pac-10 insitutions won three individual titles and one relay title.

CALIFORNIA's Haley Cope and ARIZONA's Beth Botsford were named Pac-10 Swimmer and Newcomer of the Year. Cope was the lead swimmer on two relay teams which won titles at this year's Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA Championships. Cope swam Cal to two Pac-10 meet records in the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay. She also had top-eight finishes in the 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, and 200 backstroke. At the NCAAs, Cope led Cal to a World Record in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:49.23. She also swam on the 200 freestyle relay, setting a U.S. Open Record in the process with a time of 1:40.18. To top it off she finished second in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 100 butterfly.

Botsford was a significant contributor to Arizona's first-ever Pac-10 championship, and school-best second-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Botsford took home the title in the 200 backstroke at the Pac-10s, in a time of 1:54.45. She also finished fourth in the 100 backstroke. At the NCAAs, Botsford won a National title by swimming the 200 backstroke in a time of 2:06.70, a new American Record. She also finished third in the 100 backstroke.

ARIZONA's Frank Busch was named Coach of the Year for the third time (1991, 1998) in his 11-year career. He led the Wildcats to a school-record second-place finish at the NCAA Championships. He also directed UA to its first-ever Pac-10 Championship, which also marks the first time in the 14-year history of the event that Stanford did not win the title. Busch had three swimmers win individual titles at the Pac-10s, and at the NCAAs he had an 800 freestyle relay squad win the title in a U.S Open Record time of 7:55.51, as well as the aforementioned Botsford win an individual title.

STANFORD's Erin Sones and McKenze Murphy were named Pacific-10 Diver and Newcomer of the Year. Sones finished in the top-four in all three diving events at the Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach, Calif., including taking the top prize in the three-meter event. Sones also finished second in the one-meter event and fourth in the platform. At the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., she was the top Pac-10 finisher in the three-meter event, placing third. Sones also placed 14th in the one-meter event.

Murphy, a freshman from Lakeside Park, Ky. and two-time prep All-American, placed two top-three finishes at the Pac-10 Championships. She placed second in the platform diving to lead Stanford, as well as third in the three-meter event. At the NCAA Championships, Murphy finished 19th and 23rd in the one-meter and three-meter events.

STANFORD'S Rick Schavone was named 1999 Women's Diving Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career.Schavone helped lead the Cardinal divers to one Pac-10 individual title and seven top-eight finishes, the win by the aforementioned Sones. The Stanford swimming and diving team overall took second at the Pac-10s and third at the NCAA Championships. The Women's Coach of the Year award is the fourth of Schavone's career and second consecutive.

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