By John Lohn
ASTON, Pennsylvania, February 9. FOR the most part, the dual-meet season has come to an end. Now, the majority of the programs in the nation have shifted their focus to their conference championships and, eventually, the NCAA Championships. Here’s a look at the upcoming schedules of the top-10 women’s programs in the country. The Pac-10 is the one remaining conference with stellar dual-meet matchups.
1. Georgia: The defending national champion Lady Bulldogs were dominant during the dual-meet portion of the schedule. Now, they’re gearing up for the Southeastern Conference Championships, scheduled for Feb. 15-18 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
2. Auburn: The Tigers are hoping to reclaim the NCAA title in March. The SEC Championships, slated for next week at the University of Tennessee, will provide a clue whether that goal is an achievable one.
3. California: The Golden Bears, powered by breaststroker Jessica Hardy, have one dual meet remaining, a clash on Saturday with Stanford in Palo Alto. After that, it’s time to gear up for the Pac-10 Champs, scheduled for Feb. 22-25.
4. Stanford: In its first year under the guidance of Lea Maurer, Stanford will wrap up the dual-meet season at home against the Cal Bears. The Cardinal will then look for the Pac-10 crown from Feb. 22-25.
5. Florida: Armed with a stellar lineup, the Gators are prepping for the SEC Championships next weekend. Gregg Troy’s crew is expected to be in a stellar battle with top-ranked Georgia and second-ranked Auburn.
6. Arizona: Before targeting the Pac-10 Champs, which remain two weeks away, the Wildcats will travel to Tempe for a Saturday matchup with rival Arizona State.
7. UCLA: The Bruins, coming off a setback to Cal-Berkeley, will look to end their dual-meet slate with a victory over USC. That matchup is set for Saturday and will be followed in two weeks by the Pac-10 Champs.
8. Texas: The Longhorns dispatched Rice last week to wrap up the dual-meet season. They’ll be off until the Big 12 Championships, scheduled for Feb. 22-25 at the University of Missouri.
9. Southern Methodist: The Mustangs enjoyed a strong showing last week at the New York stop on the World Cup circuit. They’ll get back to work at the Conference-USA Championships from Feb. 22-25.
10. Wisconsin: The Badgers will have off this weekend as they await the biggest meet of their season. Wisconsin gets back to work from Feb. 15-18 at Ohio State during the Big Ten Championships.