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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Unprecedented performance

    History was made in this weekend as the No. 6 Arizona men’s swimming and diving team finished in second place overall at the 2006 NCAA Championships with only 10 athletes competing.

    This unprecedented performance left the Wildcats just 40 points behind Auburn, the four-time defending national champion ranked No. 1.

    The Wildcats won four of the five relay events, had two individual titles, set 20 new records and had the highest finish in school history. Arizona head coach Frank Busch was also named NCAA Head Coach of the Year for the second season in a row.

    “”There is nothing I could do to make me feel any better than I do right now,”” Busch said.

    Busch said that after the second day of the meet, when the Wildcats held a five-point lead over Auburn, he knew the team would finish first or second.

    “”I knew it would take the perfect meet for us,”” Busch said. “”It was a coach’s dream.””

    Seniors Lyndon Ferns and Simon Burnett both swam away with individual crowns. Ferns took the title in the 100-yard butterfly in 45.89, breaking a pool and school record.

    That’s not bad, considering Ferns said he had an awful morning swim that day and almost did not make the finals.

    “”I am really happy with how I swam,”” Ferns said. “”I won my first individual title, and I could not have asked for anything more.””

    Burnett took the title once again in the 200y freestyle in 1:31.20. That time was enough to break the NCAA, U.S. Open, pool and school record for that event.

    Burnett also broke the school record in the 100y freestyle in 42.39.

    Senior Dave Rollins broke the school record in the 100y break stroke in 52.68. Freshman Nick Thoman broke a school record in the 200y backstroke in 1:41.31 and sophomore Adam Ritter broke a school record in the 200y individual medley in 1:44.15.

    The real shock came when the Wildcats racked up the relay titles like they did, as Busch said that this was a fantastic accomplishment for the men.

    The team of sophomore Albert Subirats, Rollins, Ferns and Burnett broke the NCAA, U.S. Open, pool and school record in the 200y medley relay with a title-winning time of 1:23.88.

    Another title-winning relay came from Thoman, sophomore Ivan Barnes, Subirats, and Ritter in the 400y medley relay. They broke the school and pool record with a time of 3:06.08.

    The 800y freestyle relay crown also went to Arizona. The team of Burnett, Ferns, senior Tyler DeBerry and Ritter took the event in 6:16.67.

    The final relay title for Arizona was in the 400y freestyle relay. The team of Burnett, Ferns, Subirats and Ritter won it in 2:48.39.

    Busch did not take full credit for the Coach of the Year honor bestowed upon him.

    “”It’s a great honor, and I share it with my coaching staff,”” he said.

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