SANTA BARBARA, CA., Oct. 19. UCLA's defending Pac-10 Champion women's swimming and diving team thrashed perennial Big West power UCSB and league foe Oregon State in a triangular meet here today.
The Bruins mauled the Gauchos, 170-92, and the Beavers, 169-95, to run their record to 2-0 for the season.
Led by Austrian import Elvira Fischer, an Olympic veteran who currently ranks 18th globally in the 200 breast and was a World Championship semi-finalist at Fukuoka last summer, UCLA won 10 of 14 events against UCSB and six of eight against the Beavers.
Against the Gauchos, Fischer, a transfer from the gutted program at Nebraska, won the 100-200 breast races here in 1:04.96-2:17.17.
She was joined on the victory podium by teammates Erica Shugart, double-winner in the 50-100 frees (23.79-53.28) and rookie Malin Svahnstrom, a rookie Swedish import who scored her wins in the 200 free (1:52.40) and 200 IM (2:06.07).
Not to be left out, UCLA's Kristen Lewis splashed to a double of her own, winning both flys in 57.12-2:04.46.
In the Oregon State meet, Bruin LeAnne Cadag won the 100 back (59.00) and teammate Katie Winkelhaus the 200 (2:06.47). UCLA also won both relays, the 200 medley (1:47.93) and the 400 free (3:30.55).
With Fischer at UCLA, Olympic and World 200 breast Champion Agnes Kovacs of Hungary at Arizona State and — lest we forget! — defending NCAA 100 breast champ Tara Kirk at Stanford, the Pac-10 arguably has the three best women breaststrokers in the same conference.
However, the Southeast Conference just might beg to differ. At Georgia, for example, there's NCAA 100 breast runner-up Ashley Roby; and at Alabama defending SEC 200 breast champ Anne Poleska. who was a member of Germany's World Championship team and who also won the World University Games 200 title this past summer.
UCLA's next meet is the Mustang Classic at Dallas the first weekend of November, hosted by Coach Steve Collins' Southern Methodist University team.
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CHAPEL HILL, NC, Oct. 17 — Coach Jack Bauerle's Georgia Bulldogs splashed past Coach Frank Comfort's North Carolina Tar Heels here today, in perhaps
one of the few times this season that the same women's and men's coach from one Division 1 school will by going against his counterpart from another DI
(Interestingly, when Auburn and Georgia swim later in the season the same situation will prevail as David Marsh coaches both Auburn squads; and when Georgia and Florida met last weekend in Gainesville, it was deja vu all over again as Gregg Troy coaches both the Gator women's and men's squads.)
In any event, Georgia was victorious in the women's and men's meets vs. Comfort's Tar Heels, winning the women, 175-122, and the men, 163-137 at UNC's Koury Natatorium, site of the 1989 U.S. Spring Nationals.
Bauerle's Lady Bulldogs, triple defending NCAA Champions (!!!), won 14 of 16 events to run their record to 1-1. The 'Dawgs were led by senior co-captain Stefanie Williams, a triple winner in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles (23.34, 50.06 and 1:46.85). That latter time is No. 1 nationally for 2001-02 and an automatic qualifier for next March's NCAA Championships.
Georgia frosh Katie Yevak, who last week won the SEC East Challenge 200 fly (career-best 1:57.41) and the 400 IM, won both events against Carolina in 1:58.41 (NCAA auto) and 4:16.49. She also scored a win in the 100 fly (55.15). A product of Coach Pete Malone's KC Blazers program in Kansas City, Yevak could be a major contributor in Georgia's drive for a fourth-consecutive title.
Teammate Neka Mabra was a doubler in the backstrokes (55.77-2:01.37) while senior breaststroker Roby — who missed last week's Florida dual and the SEC Challenge — won her specialty in a nation-leading 1:01.85. Her pr ia a 59.91 from last spring's NCAAs. and her goal is undoubtedly to break former teammate and multi-NCAA champ Kristi American-NCAA record of 59.05.
Having swum 59.9, Roby is a member of a rather exclusive club composed of only six women ever under 1:00.0, Kowal, Stanford's Kirk, Penn State's
Kristen Woodring, Arizona State's Beata Kaszuba and Olympic gold medalist Megan Quann.
Only Kirk and Wodring besides Roby are active collegiately in 2001-02. Kirk's pr is 59.18 (No. 2 all-time) while Woodring's been 59.77 en route to last season's Big 10 title. Quann's been 59.80 two years ago but inasmuch as she has no collegiate eligibility and next spring's USS Nationals are long course, it's unlikely she'll swim in a meet where's she's primed for a record-breaking effort.
So with the home crowd behind her and swimming in her final collegiate meet in her home pool, can Roby become the first woman under 59.0? Everything
would appear to be in order, what with top competition from Kirk and Woodring (among others) plus the "home pool" advantage.
Georgia's Maritza Correia, more known for her sprinting, showed she's quite capable of going a solid 500,winning in 4:51.54 — an NCAA provisional cut.
Teammate Julie Hardt won the 1000 (9:59.38) to just edge Carolina's Molly Sullivan (10:01.35).
Correia has a pr of 1:45.48 for the 200 free from the 2000 SEC Championships, and that time is No. 1 among active collegians. Williams' pr is 1:45.63 from last spring's SECs and that ranks her No. 2 on the active
list, so Georgia could score big points at NCAAs — not to mention the 800 free relay too.
The 'Dawg women make their first-ever West Coast swing next to do battle with perennial NCAA powers Stanford and Cal at Palo Alto and Berkeley, respectively.
Stanford is of course the last team to win NCAAs before Georgia's current streak of three-straight titles, and last spring lot the title by just one-and-a
half-points in the closest finish in the history of the meet.
Stanford has won seven NCAA Championships since Coach Richard Quick's arrival at The Farm for the 1988-89 season, including a win in his inaugural season. Stanford has veterans Shelly Ripple and Jessica Foschi, among other talented returnees, and recruited Ohip prep star Tami Ransom, who broke the state 200 IM record last season.
Coach Terri McKeever's Cal Bears are led by collegiate Swimmer of the Year Natalie Coughlin, who set American-NCAA records enroute to wins in the 100-200 back last March at East Meadow, and also sset an NCAA record in the 100 fly.
This summer Coughlin set an American rcord en route to the World Championship 100 back title (1:00.37), then led off Uncle Sam's 400 medley relay in 1:00.18 — a mere .02 off the world record of 1:00.16 by China's He
Cihong from the 1994 World Championships (and a time that some contend was done with the aid of illegal drugs.)
In any event, Coughlin had a season for the ages as a freshman and McKeever believes her potential still has yet to be tapped.
All three coaches devoutly maintain that these two dual meets are by no way and by no means "be all end all" affairs.
"It ain't what ya' do in October that counts. it's what ya' do in March," opines Bauerle.
However, we suspect the Cardinal and the Golden Bears will be 'Dawg huntin' big time when triple-defending NCAA Champ Georgia shows up on the deck next week.
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In the men's meet, Georgia received sterling efforts from backstroker Marc Lindsay (wins in the 100-200, 50.30-1:48.70) and Andrew Mahaney (500 free-200 fly, 4:28.46-1:48.20) en route to victory.
Georgia's Kyle Salyards won the 100 breast (56.54) while Carolina's Sean Quinn, a U.S. Nationals double-finalist in both breaststrokes at Clovis in August, won the 200 in an NCAA provisional 2:00.94 with Salyards second (2:01.04).
– Bill Bell