November 10, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State women's swim team plans to keep their undefeated record intact against San Jose State, even though the world's most heralded American swimmer will be on deck at Gibb Pool Nov. 14.
Former Olympic Gold medallist and Stanford All-American Pablo Morales poses little threat to the Cougars, as the Spartans rebuild their squad under his first year presence as head coach.
"Pablo Morales is to swimming in America, like ice cream is to little kids. He is not only the epitome of a personality, but one of the best swimmers ever on the planet," WSU coach Rocco Aceto said. "Now, that doesn't always mean you're a good coach - unfortunately he is a good coach and they are going to be a much improved team."
Aceto is all too familiar with the situation faced by Morales. Last season, Aceto began his head coaching duties by adding new focus to areas such as strength conditioning and good nutrition. He emphasized vigorous workouts in the pool including distance swimming and turn refinement. Both Aceto and Morales share something in common - each was an assistant at a winning program before entering the head coaching ranks. Aceto at Auburn and Morales at his alma mater, Stanford.
Both schools met last October at the San Jose Aquatics Center, where the Cougars prevailed to an 80-54 victory. The Cougars all-time score is 5-0 against SJSU.
To attack their game plan for Saturday's 11 a.m. meet, the Cougars will be viewing video footage throughout the week. In addition, their training period at the Husky Relays proved successful, although Aceto says it might not be apparent to those who are an outsider of the sport, with WSU finishing third to rival Washington and British Columbia.
"Everyone looked good from A to Z," Aceto said. "We are swimming extremely well. If this team took on last year's team, we would defeat them handily."
Notables...Junior Erin Eldridge (Kirkland, Wash.) continues to make strides in the pool after last week's Husky Relays. Her time of 1 minute, 3.08 seconds in the 100-yard length of the 300-breaststroke relay has her paced among the nation's best. "Erin Eldridge is absolutely on her way to becoming an All-American," Aceto said. "She had a great meet."...Rankings will be available next week...Eldridge is expected to be among the Top 10-15 field in the nation in breaststroke events.