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USD Enjoys Another Outstanding Season

May 18, 2004

Under the direction of 6th-year San Diego head coach Mike Keeler USD enjoyed a productive 2004 season, placing third at the Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference (PCSC) Championships. Sophomore standout Ashley Swart (Honolulu, HI) qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year and five Torero student athletes were recognized as All-PCSC performers.

Success never before realized at USD has the Torero Swimming and Diving program recognized as one of the elite programs on the West Coast. Over the past four seasons San Diego has won a pair of PCSC Conference Championships and more recently placed 38th nationally at the 2003 NCAA Championships.

Led by sixth-year head coach and two-time Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference (PCSC) Coach of the Year Mike Keeler, the Toreros have re-written the USD school record book. Of San Diego's 19 current school records, 18 have been established on Keeler's watch.

The 2004 squad was paced by sophomore standout Ashley Swart (Honolulu, HI). Swart broke four USD all-time marks last season and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year. In 2003 Swart became the first Torero swimmer to ever qualify for the NCAA Championships placing 11th nationally in the 400 IM (4:15.01) and earning All-America Honorable Mention honors. Swart made a repeat trip to the NCAA's as a sophomore, representing USD in three events at the Championships meet in College Station, Texas, clocking in with the nation's 37th best time in the 200 meter Breaststroke (2:33.11).

San Diego concluded an outstanding 2004 campaign by placing third as a team at the PCSC Championship meet in Long Beach, California. Earning 1,041 team points over the four-day event allowed USD to finish among the PCSC's top three teams for the ninth consecutive season.

A host of strong performances earned five USD swimmers All-PCSC honors. Four of San Diego's five all-conference swimmers were part of the medal-winning 800 yard Freestyle relay squad (Kelly Cobourn, Jamie Jackson, Carissa Thomasson and Ashley Swart). The foursome out-swam over 20 competing teams in Long Beach to win the event with a time (7:36.25). USD swimmers combined to post 25 top-10 times at the championships, highlighted by two outright victories for Swart [400 IM (4:22.49); 200 IM (2:04.79)] and a second place finish in the 200 Back (2:05.94) for sophomore All-PCSC selection Ashley Rose.

San Diego's collection of talented young swimmers also includes sophomore Nicole Draa who posted USD season-best times in three different events. Draa swam three top-10 times at the 2004 PCSC's including placing 4th in the 100 Free (:52.89) and 100 Back (:59.23). Draa also contributed to four top relay times over the course of the 2004 campaign.

The 2004 version of the Toreros welcomed a pair of new coaches, including top assistant Shawna Caballero and first-year head diving coach Michelle Sekeres. After a two-year hiatus Caballero returned to USD last fall, assuming a coaching post she held during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Sekeres was added to lead the Torero diving efforts, guiding USD senior Alicia Carey to a fourth place finish in the 1 Meter event at the PCSC Championships.

San Diego graduated two seniors, diver Alicia Carey and four-year letter winner Kristen Isbell. Isbell was twice honored as an All-PCSC performer during an outstanding career at USD. She won the 1650 Freestyle outright as a freshman in 2001 with a time of (17:15.92). Along with junior Jamie Jackson, Isbell served as San Diego's team captain this past season.

13 first-year athletes contributed to San Diego's extended success this past season. One year removed from a standout prep career at Desert Vista High School, Carissa Thomasson clocked in at (1:55.54) to take 7th in the 200 Freestyle at the PCSC Championships. Classmates Leslie Jordan, Ali Stauber, Shannon Harris and Sydney Hodgkinson each swam impressive times as true freshmen.

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