Bruin Swimming Gets A Pair of Victories Before Month Off from Competition

Oct. 13, 2003

After beginning the 2003-2004 season with a pair of victories last Friday (October 10), the Bruins will have a month off of competition before hosting San Diego on November 8.

Last Week
Last Friday, October 10, the defending Pac-10 Champion UCLA swimming and diving team kicked off the 2003-04 season against UC Santa Barbara and Oregon State. The Bruins defeated the Gauchos 152.5-102.5 and the Beavers 148-108. In the series history, UCLA is now 20-0 against UC Santa Barbara and 3-0 against Oregon State.

Leading the way for the Bruins was freshman Katie Nelson. In her UCLA debut, Nelson was a double event winner against both the Gauchos and Beavers. She won the 500 Free in 4:55.55 and the 1000 Free in 10:00.90. Other Bruin winners were Shellene Catalano (200 Breast, 2:21.52), Leslie Hovsepian (100 Breast, 1:06.77), Kristen Lewis (200 Fly, 2:03.30), Sara Platzer (50 Free, 23.74), Malin Svahnstrom (100 Free, 53.37), Naoko Watanabe (200 Back, 2:03.11) and Kim Vandenberg (100 Fly, 55.85).

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 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers are freshmen Jeana Fuccillo (400m IM) and Jane Imagane (400m/800m Free).

Senior Malin Svahnstrom has qualified for the Swedish Olympic Trials.

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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