Aug. 3, 2000
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State swimmer Erin Eldridge will take part in the United States Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, Ind., August 9-16.
Eldridge, who graduated in May, will be competing in the 100 meter and 200 meter breaststroke in what she hopes will be the next to last performance of her career.
"This is my last chance," Eldridge said. "I can either extend my career a month or it's over. This summer, I did a lot of work on stroke technique instead of swimming yardage."
Since Eldridge has completed her collegiate eligibility, she is permitted to represented Washington State at the trials.
"I don't feel any pressure," Eldridge said. "I still feel like I am representing WSU. I am wearing a WSU cap during the competition."
"It's been three years of stepping stones for Erin," WSU head coach Rocco Aceto said. Aceto, who has worked with Eldridge over the summer, added, "This is just the next step for her. She has done wonders for the Cougar swim program."
The 100 meter preliminaries are scheduled for the 10 a.m. session August 10 with the semifinals taking place in the 7 p.m. session. The final will be held in the 7 p.m. session August 11.
The 200 meter preliminaries and semifinals are August 13 in the 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. sessions, respectively and the final is August 14 in the 7 p.m. session. To advance to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Eldridge needs to finish first or second in either event.
"A top eight finish is what we are expecting," Aceto said. "If you get to the finals, anything can happen. This is the only meet where luck comes into play. Racing for time at the NCAAs, you can make some adjustments. Here, it is about place.
"If I make it to the Olympics, that would be a big way to end my career, but I am not making any predictions, Eldridge added. "I am going to do my best and be happy however it turns out."