UCLA Diving Heads to NCAA Zone E Championships

March 8, 2004

March 8, 2004 - Weekly Release
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This weekend, March 11-13, the Bruin divers will compete at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships. The meet will be held in Oklahoma City, OK.

College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Poll
In the final College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) poll, released February 26, the Bruins held onto their No. 7 ranking. UCLA finished the season with 156 points. Auburn ended the season ranked No. 1 in the nation with 200 points and eight No.1 votes. Georgia was second with 192 points. Rounding out the top-five are No. 3 Florida (183), No. 4 California (175) and No. 5 Stanford (165). UCLA is one of four Pac-10 teams ranked in the top-10.

NCAA Zone E Diving Championships
Four Bruins will compete at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships this weekend, March 11-13, sophomores Amanda Blong, Sara Clark and Paige Thompson, along with junior Janine Strack. The NCAA Zone Diving Championships determine qualifiers for the NCAA Championships March 18-20.

Amanda Blong, sophomore: 6th 1m (264.50), 13th 3m (390.20), 13th platform (291.65) at the Pac-10 Championships.

Sara Clark, sophomore: 12th 3m (394.20), 9th 1m (239.75), 10th platform (315.75) at the Pac-10 Championships.

Janine Strack, junior: 8th 3m (403.30), 13th 1m (228.75), 6th platform (367.40) at the Pac-10 Championships.

Paige Thompson, sophomore: 4th 3m (472.70), 7th 1m (261.45), 8th platform (316.55) at the Pac-10 Championships; School three-meter springboard record-holder (Dual - 329.70 vs. Arizona State on Nov. 14, 2003; Championship - 525.20 at Georgia Invitational on January 4, 2004).

Declared NCAA Championship Qualifiers
12 Bruins have been declared as NCAA Championship qualifiers. The final list of qualifiers was announced Friday, March 5.

Katie Arnold - 50m Free, 100m Back, 200m Back
Leslie Hovsepian - 100m Breast, 200m Breast
Jane Imagane - 400m IM, 1500m Free
Kristen Lewis - 100m Fly, 200m Fly
Jackie Lobdell - 200m Free, 200m Back
Katie Nelson - 400m Free, 200m Free, 1500m Free
Sara Platzer - 50m Free, 100m Free
Kim Scarborough - 200m IM, 400m IM, 200m Back
Malin Svahnstrom - 200m IM, 200m Free, 100m Free
Amy Thurman - 50m Free, 100m Fly, 100m Free
Kim Vandenberg - 100m Fly, 200m Fly
Naoko Watanabe - 200m IM, 100m Back, 200m Back

UCLA will also compete in the following relays: 200m Free, 400m Medley, 200m Medley, 800m Free, 400m Free.

Top-25 Performers
In the final Taper and Shave Quick 50 national rankings of the 2003 season, seven Bruins are ranked in the Top-25:

Katie Arnold (6th, 53.75, 100 Back; 12th, 1:56.44, 200 Back)
Kristen Lewis (8th, 1:56.77, 200 Fly; 10th, 53.52, 100 Fly)
Katie Nelson (8th, 16:07.15, 1650 Free)
Sara Platzer (8th, 22.64, 50 Free; 8th, 49.29, 100 Free)
Kim Scarborough (19th, 4:15.15, 400 IM)
Malin Svahnstrom (7th, 1:58.99, 200 IM; 19th, 1:47.08, 200 Free)
Kim Vandenberg (5th, 1:55.13, 200 Fly; 7th, 53.27, 100 Fly)

The Bruin relays are also ranked amongst the top in the nation:

200 Free Relay: 6th, 1:31.32
400 Free Relay: 10th, 3:19.72
800 Free Relay: 10th, 7:12.93
200 Medley Relay: 10th, 1:40.88
400 Medley Relay: 11th, 3:39.86

FINA World Rankings (As of February 1, 2004)
Three Bruins are ranked in the FINA Top-20 in the world:

Katie Nelson (1500m Free, 5th, 16:21.37)
Malin Svahnstrom (200m IM, 20th, 2:12.81)
Kim Vandenberg (200m Fly, 14th, 2:08.61)

National Letter of Intent Signees
During the Fall Signing period, Head Coach Cyndi Gallagher has received four National Letters of Intent. Head Diving Coach Tom Stebbins has received a National Letter of Intent from Heather Peng. Shannon Hackett, Erin Ketchum, Jillian Ochs, Heather Peng and Nicolette Teo will join the Bruins as true freshmen in 2004.

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), Katie Nelson (800m Free), Sara Platzer (50m Free) and Naoko Watanabe (100m/200m Back). 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).

Senior Malin Svahnstrom has qualified for the Swedish Olympic Trials.

Looking Ahead
The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships will take place March 18-20 in College Station, TX.

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