No. 24 Huskies Set Four School Records, Move Up To Fifth

Feb. 27, 2009

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Federal Way, Wash. - The No. 24 Washington women's swimming team stepped up to the challenge presented Friday morning by head coach Whitney Hite after a sub-par performance Thursday, setting four school records to move into fifth in the team standings after three days of the Pac-10 Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.

Senior Genevieve Patterson and junior Erin Campbell each set school individual records, with Campbell setting two, while those two combined with Hannah Ross and Lindsey Sharp to set a school record in the final race of the night, the 400 medley relay.

Currently fifth in the team standings, UW is looking to do something no other Husky women's swim team has done which is finish better than sixth in the Pac-10 Championships. Since Pac-10 swimming began in 1986-87, the Huskies have finished as high as sixth just twice: 1993-94 and 1995-96.

'We kind of turned it around today. Not that we were swimming badly, but I challenged them this morning and said we have to be better and they were,' Hite said. 'To finish fifth would be awesome. We're going to give it everything we have. It would be a huge step for us and we know how important it is, but we also have some things to do to get to the next step. Pac-10s are important, but we want to make sure we are setting ourselves up for NCAAs.'

Last year, Hite led the Huskies to a program-best 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Despite losing world-class swimmer Ariana Kukors, who decided to focus on club swimming, the third-year coach has kept his team at a high level.

Campbell got the record-setting night started in the 100 fly, finished eighth in the A final in 52.29, breaking her own school record by .32. The time just missed automatically qualifying her for NCAAs, but her 'B' time will likely be enough to advance.

Patterson then wowed the crowd by going under the one-minute mark in the 100 breast for the first time in her career to finish second, just behind Olympic gold-medalist Rebecca Soni of USC. Soni finished in an American-record time of 58.10, while Patterson was just behind her in 59.87, an NCAA 'A' time, the first UW woman to automatically qualify for NCAAs this season. She bettered her own school-record in the event in the prelims with her 1:00.14 then pushed herself even further ahead with her 59.87 in the finals.

In that same race, sophomore Emilee Jennings swam a personal-best 1:02.71 in the B final, placing 11th overall and moving up to fourth all time.

Freshman Hannah Ross kept the Huskies rolling, finishing fifth in the 100 back in 53.21, which would have been a school record as she beat out Kukors' time from last year's Pac-10 Championships, but Campbell broke the record in an exhibition in the prelims, touching the wall in 52.77. Campbell's time did not count toward Washington's score, but is an automatic qualifying time for NCAAs and gave the All-American a second school record on the night.

Not to be overshadowed, Danielle Gong got herself near the top of the record books, swimming a personal best 4:13.26 in the C finals of the 400 IM, the ninth-fastest time of the day and the second-fastest time in UW history.

Also, freshman Kelly Flynn placed third in the B final and 11th overall in the 200 free, touching the wall in 1:47.13. That time was just off her prelims time of 1:47.08, which was the fourth-fastest time in UW history. Lindsey Sharp was not far behind in 14th, with her 1:47.70 B-final time putting her fifth all time on the UW charts.

The women then capped off the third of four nights of competition with a school-record setting 400 medley relay, with Ross, Patterson, Campbell and Sharp finishing in 3:34.51, nearly four seconds faster than the time set by Kukors, Campbell, Patterson and Kim Jasmer at the NCAA Championships last season.

The relay finish helped UW move up to fifth in the team standings, ahead of No. 19 UCLA and Arizona State, each of which having diving programs. UW is one of three teams (Oregon State, Washington State) which do not have diving programs. California took over the team lead from defending champion Arizona.

Competition concludes Saturday with finals being held in the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay and platform diving, starting at 6 p.m.

Team Standings
1, California, 990.5
2, Arizona, 937.5
3, Stanford, 873
4, USC, 630
5, Washington, 471
6, UCLA, 445
7, Arizona State, 364
8, Oregon State, 294
9, Washington State, 231

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