Six of the top 20 men's swimming teams in the country will compete at the Pacific 10 swimming championships today through Wednesday at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach.
Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m., and finals start each night at 6 p.m.
UCLA will begin the meet in first place from the results of last weekend's diving championships. The Bruins, who have 94 points, are followed by Stanford with 93 and Arizona State with 92 points. USC is fifth with 75 points.
Stanford, ranked sixth nationally, is trying to win its ninth consecutive conference championship, which would tie USC's record between 1961 and 1969. UCLA, ranked fourth nationally and runner-up last year, will challenge the Cardinal. The Bruins have three swimmers qualified for the NCAA championships, which will be held March 22-24 in Indianapolis. They want more.
"We're getting everybody who doesn't have their standards ready to swim their best," said Bruin assistant coach Greg Holland. "The most important thing is NCAAs, and we want to swim as well as we can there."
Second-ranked USC has qualified eleven swimmers and, like UCLA, is looking to get as many more as possible.
"We have eleven swimmers with standards, and realistically we can't beat Stanford here," said USC Coach Peter Daland. "We want to get more standards and have our unshaved swimmers (swimmers who have qualified) swim their best unshaved times of the year."
Only seven schools will compete in the meet. Washington State, Oregon State and Oregon do not have swimming programs. Cal is ranked ninth nationally, Arizona State 10th and Arizona 16th.