Vandal swimming wraps up third season

An impressive second place finish by Vandal junior JO JO MILLER in the 200 meter breastroke gave Idaho a shot at a fifth place finish this weekend at the WAC Championships. But Idaho was unable to move up in the standings on the final day of competition and finished the meet with a sixth place finish overall.

Starting the final day of competition in the WAC swimming and diving championships Idaho was just nine points out of fifth place behind New Mexico State. But Idaho was unable to gain ground on the leaders, settling for a sixth place in the overall standings (Idaho finished fifth last season).

Nevada won the conference title for the first time, unseating 2006 champion Hawaii which finished second ahead of Northern Arizona, San Jose State, and New Mexico State. University of San Diego placed eighth and BSU ninth.

Junior Jo Jo Miller had the top finish for the Vandals at the WAC Championships, placing second in the 200 meter breast stroke. She currently holds the school record in the event (2:22:65) and virtually owns the Top 10 all-time finishes in the event in the history of swimming at Idaho. She went into this season holding seven of the top ten finishes, including the top 4 finishes of all time. It was a perfect way to wrap up the 2006 season.

Five-Time Olympic gold medalist TOM JAGER, head coach of the Vandal swim team, is in his third season at the helm at Idaho.
This season the Vandal swim team jumped out to its best start since the program was resurrected just three years ago. Diving has not yet returned to the program, but the swim team is well on its way to rebuilding. This season Idaho beat the University of Alberta, Cal State Northridge, and San Jose State to go undefeated in October. In November the team finished strong in the Big West Shootout with victories over Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and Pepperdine. "The weekend served its purpose," Jager said at the time in a press release issued by the school. "It's a chance to learn how to compete."

An important step, in a program as young as this.

Later that month Idaho's young team took on Washington at the UI Swim Center, falling to a strong Husky team 167-94. Idaho went back to Washington for the Husky Invite, then continued their PAC-10 swing with meets against rival Washington State and Oregon State. Idaho fell by a final score of 117-75 to the Beavs.

Overall, the Vandals finished 2-3 against WAC competition during the regular season, with victories over SJSU and a 170-49 home victory over Boise State.

Coach Jager and the Vandal swim team made significant strides this season (junior Kacie Hogan was named WAC Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Week in January), and look to continue developing the swim program at Idaho as four new recruits prepare to join the program in 2007 (Alyson Hamilton of Lake Oswego, Ore., Anna Humphrey of Portland, Ore., Elizabeth Jagusch of Ketchikan, Alaska and Mary Skidmore of Memphis, Tenn.). "This is our best recruiting class since we started here," Jager said. "They all have potential to make it to the finals at the WAC Championships immediately."


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