Swimmer Sprints To The Top

Jan. 7, 2004

Brian Gomez
Special for the Scottsdale Republic

SCOTTSDALE - Wiley Wallace figures a new year will bring about promising results, even if they're long overdue.

For the better part of three seasons on Arizona State University's swimming and diving team, Wallace, a senior sprinter from Scottsdale, struggled to find the consistency that many of his highly touted teammates already had achieved.

It wasn't until this season that Wallace finally got over the hump, turning in the kind of times that he anxiously had pursued since he first made a name for himself as a state champion at Coronado High School.

Wallace only hopes that progress hasn't come too late.

With only a handful of meets remaining before the Pac-10 Championships, which serve as the final qualifying stage for the NCAA Championships, Wallace is trying to fulfill his lofty expectations sooner rather than later.

'I've never really felt any pressure,' said Wallace, who returns to action Saturday when No. 13-ranked ASU hosts Purdue at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe. 'I'm swimming faster at this point than I ever have.'

Specializing in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events, Wallace has yet to forge any personal bests this season, but he has come close to matching the times that he set last year during an impressive junior campaign in which he earned two All-America honors.

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