The University of Nevada swimming and diving team will be seeking a three-peat when the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Championship gets underway on Wednesday at Palo Alto Natatorium in San Antonio, Texas. The Wolf Pack has won the last two WAC titles and a 2009 title would make it three in a row.
The Pack returns 10 swimmers and two divers that scored points for the squad last season in San Antonio as they won the 2008 WAC Championship with 725.5 points to outdistance Northern Arizona’s total of 605. Of the 10, four won eight individual events at the WAC Championship. Margaret Doolittle won three events, Kim Kabesh two, Jeanette Tour was victorious in two events and Summer Halwas-Morgan captured one event.
Doolittle (Jr., Sacramento, Calif.), the 2008 WAC Swimmer of the Year, won the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke each of the last two seasons and added a first in the 200-yard IM a year ago. She also swam on two first place relay teams at the 2008 championship.
Kabesh (Sr., Viking, Alberta, Canada) won the 100 and 200-yard butterfly events at the 2008 WAC meet and was fourth in the 100-yard backstroke. Tour (So., Stockholm, Sweden), the 2008 WAC Freshman of the Year was victorious in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke a year ago. She also swam on two first place relay teams.
Halwas-Morgan (Sr., Nine Mile Falls, Wash.) swam to a first-place finish in the 400-yard IM. She also added two second place finishes in the 200-yard IM and 200-yard breaststroke.
Senior Courtney Eads (Upland, Calif.) heads into the meet with the top time in the 1000-yard freestyle and 400-yard IM. Eads will be making her first trip to the championships this season.
Senior diver Candice Minette (Glendale, Ariz.) will be looking to win a title in her final trip to the WAC championship. Minette holds the WAC record in both the 1 and 3-meter dual competitions. Three times this season she has earned WAC Diver of the Week honors.
The Pack will be looking to make it four in a row in the area of WAC Freshman of the Year as Tour (2008), Doolittle (2007) and Kabesh (2006) earned the honor the last three seasons.
"We feel good about our team at this point,” said head coach Mike Richmond. “The thing I feel we do well is peak at the right time of the year, and I think our teams in the past have done that, and I think this team is very ready to be our best. Last year, we went in to the WAC Championship meet ranked fifth, and about 300 points down. This year, we're about 129 point underdog and seeded second. We've learned to embrace that underdog role, and use it to motivate us. It'll be a fun meet, and one of the closest in my nine years. We're excited."