Huskies Swim Well In Return To The Pool

Jan. 2, 2009

TUCSON, Ariz. - A month after their highly successful performance in the Husky Invitational, the University of Washington men's and women's swim teams were back in the pool Friday in dual meets at the University of Arizona.

The men and women both went 2-1 Friday, with the men defeating Air Force, 195-104, and the Colorado School of Mines, 206-87, while falling to No. 3 ranked and defending national champion Arizona, 199-95. The women, meanwhile, were victorious over Northern Arizona, 201-98, and Oregon State, 183-79, but came up short against No. 7 Arizona, 210-70.

With swimmers tapering their times down in an effort to start building toward the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships in February and March, the women improved to 7-6 in dual meets this season while the men improved to 7-4.

'Iit's a start for us. We weren't bad but we weren't great, it was just solid,' Washington head coach Whitney Hite said. 'We had a good week of training so we were tired and it's difficult going against a team like Arizona because they're the defending national champs. You go into it expecting to compete and we did a pretty good job of that. You just have to maintain focus and recognize you are tried but so is Arizona. We have things we still need to be good at regardless of how we feel.'

For the men, senior Scott Spansail (San Clemente, Calif.) won both the 500 free (4:31.97) and the 1000 (9:33.57), while Jereme Barnett-Woods was second in the 1000 free in 9:41.38. Spansail recently broke school records in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free at the Husky Invitational. His season-best time in the 1000 free of 8:54.25 is the top time in the country this season and he ranks No. 2 in the 1650 free with a top time of 14:40.65, the latter of which automatically qualified him for the NCAA Championships. Spansail also ranks 11th nationally in the 500 free.

Fellow senior Evan Bernier (Woodinville, Wash.) continued to swim strong, winning the 100 back in 49.65 and the 50 free in 20.59. Bernier also finished second in the 100 free in 45.91. He ranks in the top-20 nationally in all three events, including swimming the 12th-fastest time in the 100 back (47.82).

Sophomore Andre Blyth (Englewood, Colo.) was also victorious for UW, taking the 200 fly in 1:50.58. He also finished second in the 100 fly in 50.06. Senior Jon Banker (Canon City, Colo.) placed second in both the 200 back (1:52.12) and the 200 IM (1:56.60) while senior Yonatan Cohen (Neve-Monoson-Yahud, Israel) was second in the 100 breast in 57.80.

Sophomore Ashley Daly (Seattle) was the lone UW woman to win Friday, taking the 1000 free in 10:04.81. She also placed second in the 500 free in 4:58.37.

There were numerous runner-up finishes for the Huskies, however, led by senior Genevieve Patterson (Vancouver, Wash.) who finished second in the 100 breast in 1:03.15 and the 200 breast in 2:19.82. Patterson is currently ranked ninth in the country in the 100 breast with her time of 1:00.56 earlier this season.

A pair of freshmen also finished second in their races with Kelly Flynn (The Woodlands, Texas) finishing second in the 200 free in 1:52.49 and Hannah Ross placing second in both the 100 and 200 back with times of 56.78 and 2:00.45, respectively. Ross came into the meet ranked No. 22 in the country in the 100 back.

Sisters Jen and Danielle Gong (Campbell, Calif.) finished second and third, respectively, in the 200 IM, with the junior, Jen, finishing second in 2:05.69 ahead of her younger sister, freshman Danielle, who was third in 2:07.09.

The Huskies will be back in the pool Saturday at Noon when they face Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz.

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