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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Women’s swim, dive ready for start of Pac-10 tourney”

    The season is winding down for the No. 7 Arizona women’s swimming and diving team, but though the end is near, the peak may be yet to come.

    The Wildcat women (9-2, 5-2 Pacific 10 Conference) will travel to Long Beach, Calif., today through Saturday for the Pac-10 Championships, having lost to only No. 3 Stanford and No. 6 California on the season. Each day preliminaries start at 11 a.m. and finals are at 6 p.m.

    “”Our goal is to be the Pac-10’s worst nightmare,”” Arizona head coach Frank Busch said.

    Busch said that the team is just trying to be as good as it can be at this point, but expects members to be really competitive.

    Busch said that the team is not well rested and the upcoming meet would be a big test.

    “”If you can swim fast now under the conditions, not being rested, you can swim even better,”” he said.

    The only returning Pac-10 champion is senior Marshi Smith, who took the 100y backstroke

    This year we have worked harder than ever before, the coaches pushing us and us responding to that.

    – Marshi Smith,
    Pac-10 champion

    title. Smith said that she doesn’t really want to make predictions for the Pac-10 Championships.

    “”Expectations are an interesting topic for me,”” she said. “”I don’t usually like to make predictions. I feel like it can limit the possibilities.””

    She said she thinks the team is working hard and that the experienced senior class will be an advantage for them at the meet.

    “”This year we have just worked harder than ever before, the coaches pushing us and us responding to that,”” she said.

    Smith said the athletes are not in perfect condition but will be better prepared as the fatigue sharpens their focus.

    “”You need to swim the best you have swum when … tired,”” Smith said.

    She added that everyone is expected to swim quickly regardless, and that the times will still be fast.

    “”We are ready to go, and in a couple of weeks we will be even better,”” Smith said.

    The Wildcats also return five athletes who were a part of two first-place relay teams.

    The women won the championships in 2000 and have finished in the top five every year since 1996. They have won an individual event title every year since 1997.

    The Arizona divers are looking for a good week on the boards as well.

    “”I think we will have some good performances,”” said Arizona head diving coach Michele Mitchell Rocha.

    She said she is looking for more consistent performances from senior divers John Collier and Tiffany Manning. Mitchell Rocha said that since the meet is indoors, it will help having no wind or environmental elements.

    Mitchell Rocha said that the divers are not in peak physical condition, but that they are not supposed to be peaking just yet.

    “”We are on the right road, and people are doing what they need to do,”” Mitchell Rocha said.

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