February 22, 2000
PULLMAN, Wash. - The mission remains the same for the Washington State women's swimming team ... swim swiftly and turn in fast times.
The Cougars travel to the Pacific-10 Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in Long Beach, Calif., where they will be among the nation's top teams and world's fastest swimmers, Feb. 24-26.
Six of the nine Pac-10 schools who participate in women's swimming rank in the CSCAA Top 25 poll. Arizona is ranked second, followed by No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 Cal, No. 5 USC, No. 11 UCLA and No. 18 Arizona State. WSU also received votes for national recognition. The Cougars are used to competing with the best this season after swimming against four nationally ranked schools.
With a cast of five seniors and six freshmen, the Cougars will have the youngest team on deck at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Senior All-American Erin Eldridge (Kirkland, Wash.) contends for a repeat ticket to the finals in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events. Eldridge took home a third place medal in the 100 last year at the conference meet in Federal Way, Wash., and also turned in NCAA automatic qualifying times in both events.
The best finish for the Cougars at the conference meet is eighth. They will challenge Oregon State and rival Washington with hopes to move up a few notches.
Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. and finals follow at 6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday.
Swimming Notes...From the latest Taper & Shave College Top 25 rankings, Eldridge ranks 20th nationally in the 100 breaststroke and 23rd in the 200...Set Your VCR...Fox Sports Net will feature a Pac-10 Championships preview with Eldridge and WSU coach Rocco Aceto Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m on "Northwest Sports Tonight."