January 26, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - The next task at hand for the Washington State women's swim team will be competing against world class swimmers Jan. 30.
The Cougars journey to the summits of Reno, Nev. for what has become an annual meeting against the University of Nevada in recent years ('93, '94, '95, and '98).
"Reno is about 4,800 to 5,000 feet in elevation, double what we have here in Pullman," WSU coach Rocco Aceto said. "We are going in with attitude and altitude to do well there."
The No. 13 team in the nation boasts a roster of international and American talent. Four of Nevada's members hail from China - and this is where the Cougars will see world class experience come into play. They currently lead the nation and Big West conference in several events.
WSU comes off a double dual meet versus No. 12 UCLA and Fresno State - the first time that it will challenge two nationally ranked opponents in a row.
"They are ranked No. 13, but are really a top 10 team," Aceto said. "They have everything - diving, distance, you name it. This will be the first time that most of our athletes have ever seen world-class swimming. However, it's what the program needs to get better."
Last season, the Wolf Pack handed the Cougars an 89-33 defeat on their home turf. This put the all-time record against Nevada to a 1-4 advantage in its favor. The last time WSU beat Nevada was in 1982 with a 76-57 victory at a neutral site.
"I don't think that our team is intimidated at all. I think they are looking at it as a challenge and an opportunity to learn from," WSU assistant coach Alicia Hicken said. "It's nothing they're not going to see at Pac-10s. It's the same type of competition, same type of speed - it will prepare them for that."
Swimming NotesIn practice last Friday, the Cougars turned in a school record breaking time in the 200-yard medley relay by six tenths of a second - and coach Aceto has the film footage to prove itAccording to the latest Speedo/College Swimming Coaches Association of America best times, junior Erin Eldridge remains among the top 25 in the country in the 200 breaststroke (No. 19 / 2:16.94) and the 100 breaststroke (No. 24 / 1:03.62)WSU coaches Rocco Aceto and Alicia Hicken will be on the Tuesday press conference call at 1:30 p.m.