Cougars Take On Conference Rivals At Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 20, 2006

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This Week: The Cougars face off against conference rivals Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, UCLA, USC and Washington at the 2006 Pacific-10 Women's Swimming Championships in Long Beach, Calif., at the Belmont Plaza Olympic begins Wednesday, Feb. 22 and concludes Sunday, Feb. 25, with preliminary races beginning at 11 a.m. each day followed by finals session at 6 p.m. each evening.

Head Coach Erica Quam Says: 'Our goal for Pac-10s is simple: Improve. We have had a good season to set us up and this team is prepared, focused, and ready to race. We don't need to over think things. If each individual can focus on what has made them successful this season and do one or two of those things better than they have already done this year in each race, as a whole, we are going to have an outstanding meet. We have the potential to set school records in several relays and quite a few individual events. We have the potential for a handful of people to qualify for the NCAA Championships and our goals are to maximize this potential by stepping up to the plate and do what we have prepared to and are very capable of doing.'

2006 Pac-10 Championship Preview: The 2006 Championships feature some of the top teams in the country...latest CSCAA-Top 25 poll includes five Pac-10 teams ranked in the Top-10: No. 3 California, No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Arizona and No. 10 USC 2005 individual Pac-10 champions are back to defend their nine crowns...Arizona State's Caitlin Andrew (100 butterfly), California's Annie Babicz (100 breaststroke) and Emily Silver (200 freestyle), Stanford's Caroline Bruce (200 breaststroke, 200 IM, and 400 IM) and Dana Kirk (200 butterfly), UCLA's Katie Arnold (100 backstroke) and USC's Kalyn Keller (1,650 freestyle)...two NCAA individual champions will take the pool, Arizona's Marshi Smith won an 2005 NCAA title in the 100 backstroke, as did Stanford's Bruce in the 100 and 200 results at the 2005 NCAA's found four Pac-10 teams in the Top-10...Arizona placed third, followed by No. 5 Stanford, No. 8 California and No. 10 USC...two other teams placed in the Top-20, No. 12 Arizona State and No. 18 UCLA.

Coach Quam Says: 'Once again, we have one of the best conferences in the nation to race. Swimmers in the Pac-10 who WANT to improve, achieve their National cuts and make it to the NCAA Championships will face some of the best racers in the nation that will challenge them to excel.'

Scouting the Pac-10: No. 7 ARIZONA has finished in the Top-5 at the Pac-10 Championships every year since 1996...women last won the team championships in 2000, but have consecutively posted at least one individual champion each year since 1997 ...ARIZONA STATE placed 12th at the 2005 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, marking the team's fourth straight Top-15 finish...sophomore Caitlin Andrew looks to repeat as Pac-10 Champion in the 100 butterfly, as she won the event in seven meets this season... No. 3 CALIFORNIA enters this year's Pac-10 championships undefeated for the second time in three years...Bears lead the nation in five events, including the 500 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 400 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay...senior Ashley Candler has the nation's leading time in the 500 freestyle, touching in 4:42.71... OREGON STATE broke its 25-year losing streak against Washington in the Beaver's final dual meet of the came down to the final event of the meet, the 400 freestyle relay, before a full house in Corvallis... No. 6 STANFORD is the defending Pac-10 champion and has won 16 of the 19 Pac-10 Championships contested... Caroline Bruce, the 2005 Pac-10 Swimmer and Newcomer of the Year, looks to defend the three 2005 Pac-10 Championships titles in the 200 breaststroke, 200 IM and 400 IM... No. 4 UCLA is led by senior Kim Vandenberg, who went undefeated in the 200 butterfly in dual meets this season...Vandenberg has lost just once in her career, to Olympian and former USC swimmer Kaitlin Sandeno...No. 10 USC has come away with at least one championship in 12 straight years...Junior Kalyn Keller is the Pac-10's two-time defending champion in the 1650 freestyle and enters this year's championship with the fastest time in the Conference...Freshman Rebecca Soni earned Conference Swimmer of the Month honors in October after winning the 100 and 200 breaststrokes in the University of Pacific Invite, her first collegiate meet...WASHINGTON is led by senior Sharon Olson, who owns seven school records, including the 500 and 1,000 freestyles and the 200 IM...Sophomore Cailyn Shortt leads the Huskies all-time list in the 100 breaststroke and appears on UW's all-time Top-10 list four times.

Last Competition: Washington State traveled to Idaho where they faced the Vandals at the UI Swim Center Saturday, Feb. 4, in the final dual meet of the season...Cougars defeated Idaho 135-70, winning 10 of 11 events...juniors Kayli Changstrom and Erin McCleave paced the Cougars, each earning a pair of individual wins...Changstrom secured the top spot in back-to-back races finishing first in the 400 individual medley (4:34.40) and added her second win with a time of 2:08.69 in the 200 butterfly...McCleave finished first in the 200 (1:52.26) and 500 (5:05.58) freestyle events and combined with Jamie MacLeod, Katie Van Horne and Monika Povilonyte for a win in the 200 freestyle relay (1:36.91)...Van Horne posted a win in the 100 freestyle (53.19), Afton Pickett and Lina Daugvilaite added victories in the 200 backstroke (2:06.14) and 1650 freestyle (17:40.23) respectively with Jane Copland rounding out the Cougars' top finishes with a first place showing in the 200 breaststroke (2:21.63)...Changstrom, along with Pickett, Povilonyte and Lindsay Backhouse also swam to victory in the 400 medley relay (3:56.53)...WSU finished its dual meet schedule with a 4-2 record.

Next Up For Washington State: The Cougars prepare for the 2006 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships March 16-18 at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga...McCleave earned an automatic cut in the 1650 freestyle at the Minnesota Invitational and looks to be joined by Copland, Pickett and Povilonyte who have each earned NCAA 'B' consideration standards this season.


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