Huskies Finish Sixth At Pac-10 Championships

March 4, 2006

FEDERAL WAY, Wash.-- The Washington men's swimming team fought an uphill battle Saturday against five ranked opponents, including four teams ranked in the top-six, to place sixth overall with 188 points at the Pac-10 Championships. The Huskies, who were the only team competing without a diving program, earned 71 points on the last night of arguably the toughest conference meet in the nation.

Top-ranked Stanford won its 25th-consecutive Pac-10 title with 880 points, followed by #3 California (796), #4 USC (530), #6 Arizona (519), #25 Arizona State (352) and Washington (188).

The Huskies posted four NCAA 'B' standards this evening, including two by sophomore Bruno Barbic, one by sophomore Pat Penoyar and one by the 400 freestyle relay team made up of Barbic, Ivan Perhat, Brenton Dowdy and Bret Lundgaard. The Huskies also tallied six lifetime best swims on the final day.

'I'm proud of our guys,' said head coach Mickey Wender. 'We performed very well and achieved most of our goals. We didn't achieve all of them but it's never perfect. Most of our guys achieved lifetime best performances in almost all of their swims and you really can't ask for more. We didn't score as many points as we were hoping to, obviously that disqualification in the relay Wednesday hurt us reaching that goal, but we are very young and this week we made a huge step in the right direction. We have nothing but potential.

'The guys got better and better at executing their game plan as we went through the meet. They were a little bit undisciplined at the beginning of the season but we learned a lot about how to put the pieces together that lead to the kind of performances that they want. We break everything down to the most minute detail so it's fun to watch them dream, have a goal, create a plan, execute and accomplish what they set out to do. It's very rewarding and we had a ton of that this weekend.'

Barbic placed sixth in the 100 freestyle with an NCAA 'B' standard time of 43.64 to earn 13 points. The time marked the second-fastest in school history behind his own school record time of 43.48 set at the 2005 Pac-10 meet.

Perhat won the 100 freestyle bonus final with a time of 45.06 for the fourth-fastest time in school history. Freshmen Niko Micin and Anthony Falaniko also swam lifetime bests in the event, finishing in 46.28 and 46.61, respectively.

Sophomore Pat Penoyar placed fifth in the 200 breaststroke in an NCAA consideration time of 1:59.14, marking the third-fastest time in Washington history. Ryan Kastl won the bonus final (2:06.95).

Sophomore Taylor Brugh placed second in the consolation final, posting the fourth-fastest time in UW history (1:48.01) to pick up seven points. Henry Hudson placed 15th overall with a lifetime best of 1:50.34 to pick up two points, while Tamon Page won the bonus final with a lifetime best mark of 1:50.96.

Lundgaard placed 12th in the 200 butterfly to earn five points for the Huskies with a time of 1:48.98. Jon Banker placed 15th with a time of 1:50.10 to pick up two points and Mason Amick won the bonus final in a time of 1:50.24.

Senior Hunter McCallister swam the last event of his career tonight, placing 19th in the 1650 in a season-best time of 16:17.20.

The 400 freestyle relay posted a season-best time of 2:59.53 to place fifth overall and tally 28 points. Barbic's leadoff time of 43.56 was another NCAA 'B' cut, surpassing his time in the 100 freestyle set earlier in the night.

'Bruno Barbic has continued to impress me with his heart and his character,' said Wender. 'Advancing to that big 100 freestyle final and racing so well and then coming back to swim on the 400 relay and racing even better is significant. His time is certainly fast enough to get him into NCAA's. It's hard to keep getting up and he has developed a competitive strength that can only come over time and as a sophomore, I really think he's moving in the right direction to have a great NCAA's.'

The Huskies will participate in a last-chance meet Sunday and hope to qualify a few more swimmers to the NCAA Championships. Washington will especially focus on the 200 medley relay that was disqualified on Wednesday night.

'Pat (Penoyar) is on the bubble in the 200 breaststroke and our 200 medley relay, even though is got disqualified, was right there,' said Wender. 'We are going to time trial it tomorrow and I think those guys have a chance to make it to NCAA's.'

After tomorrow, Washington will wait to hear which of its athletes will be invited to swim at the 2006 Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Atlanta, Ga., March 23-25 at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center. The announcement of the championship field is expected late next week.

Final Team Standings1. Stanford 8802. California 7963. USC 5304. Arizona 5195. Arizona State 3526. Washington 188
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