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U. of Wash. Eliminating Swim Teams

July 27, 2000

SEATTLE (AP) _ The 2000-01 season will be the last for the University of Washington men’s and women’s swim teams, athletic director Barbara Hedges announced Thursday.

``Our overall swimming program is not competitive on a national level and it has not been since the late 1970s,″ Hedges said. ``I believe that is a direct result of a facility that is inadequate for competition and recruiting.″

Husky Pool was built in 1937 and has no deep well for diving, Hedges noted, adding that there was no hope of getting a new pool soon.

``This has been a very difficult decision to make. The last thing I have ever wanted to do is have to drop a sport,″ she said.

Both the men’s and women’s team have been coached by Mickey Wender since 1998. The men’s record over the last two seasons is 10-10, good for sixth place both years in the Pacific 10 Conference. The women’s team has gone 18-6, finishing seventh in the PAC-10 both years.

Nine Washington swimmers will compete at next month’s Olympic Trials in Indianapolis.

``This is a very sad day for everyone associated with the sport of swimming, not just in the Pacific Northwest, but across the country,″ Wender said.

The men’s swimming program dates back to 1932, while the women’s program began in 1975. The men’s team placed among the top 10 at the NCAA Championships six times during the 1970s, but has had little success since 1979. The men have finished in the top five at the Pac 10 championship meet just once since 1979.

Since 1979, the women’s team has failed to place higher than sixth in conference championships, while its highest finish at the nationals was 22nd in 1984-85.

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