2003 Pac-10 Champion Bruin Swimming & Diving Kicks Off Season This Friday

Oct. 6, 2003

This Week
This Friday, October 10, the defending Pac-10 Champion UCLA swimming and diving team will kick off the 2003-04 season. The Bruins will face UC Santa Barbara and Oregon State at 1:00 PM at the Campus Pool on the UCSB campus.

Coach Gallagher's Bruins are undefeated against both the Gauchos and Beavers. In last year's meet, UCLA defeated UCSB 166-95 and Oregon State 144-115. Overall, the Bruins are 19-0 against the Gauchos and 2-0 against the Beavers.

Head Coach Cyndi Gallagher
Head Coach Cyndi Gallagher enters her 16th season at the helm of the UCLA swimming program with an overall record of 92-47-1. Last year, Gallagher led the Bruins to their second Pac-10 title, having also won in 2001. She went on to coach the Bruins to an 11th place finish at the NCAA Championships and an impressive nine All-American performances.

2003 was a record setting year for the Bruins. Not only did the Bruins regain the Pac-10 crown, the only team other than Stanford or Arizona to capture the title, but Bruin swimmers set records in the 100 Free (Sara Platzer, 49.28), 400 Free Relay (3:19.77) and 800 Free Relay (7:14.76). Kim Vandenberg, the 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, set new freshman records of 53.49 (100 Fly) and 1:55.89 (200 Fly).

Gallagher's season was capped off by being named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. It was the second time Gallagher had received the honor, having also been named coach of the year in 1990.

Returning All-Americans
The Bruins return six All-Americans from last year's NCAA team. Returning for their senior seasons are Leslie Hovsepian, Kristen Lewis, Sara Platzer and Malin Svahnstrom. Also returning are junior Lindsey Smart and freshman Kim Vandenberg.

2004 Olympic Trials Qualifiers
With the 2004 Olympics just a few months away, nine current Bruins have already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, held June 7-14, 2004. Leading the way are seniors Cathy Coler (200m Breast), Kristen Lewis (100m/200m Fly), Jackie Lobdell (400m Free), Sara Platzer (50m Free), Naoko Watanabe (100m/200m Back) and Brooke Winkler (200m IM). Sophomore Kim Vandenberg, the 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, has qualified in the 100m and 200m Fly.

Rounding out the list of Bruin Olympic Trials qualifiers are freshmen Jeana Fuccillo (400m IM) and Jane Imagane (400m/800m Free).

Looking Ahead
The Bruin diving squad will compete at the Trojan Diving Invitational November 6-8 at USC's McDonald Swim Stadium.

The next UCLA swimming match-up will take place November 8 at noon against San Diego. The meet will be held at the Men's Gym Pool on the UCLA campus.

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