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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Swim squads off to strong start in Texas

    Both the UA men’s and women’s swimming teams got off to a fast start Thursday during the opening day of competition in the three-day-long Texas Invitational.

    Through 14 events, the women’s team leads the competition, having scored 448 points to 2nd-place Texas’ 266. Meanwhile, the men are currently in 2nd place with a score of 343.5, trailing Texas by 160 points.

    More importantly, the Wildcats have already posted numerous NCAA qualifying times in their swims.

    In the 200-yard freestyle relays, both men and women have qualified for the NCAA ‘A’ cuts with the women taking first and the men second to Texas, who nipped the Wildcats by one-hundredth of a second in the event.

    Jordan Smith, who also took part in the 200y freestyle, took second in his individual 50y freestyle with a time of 19.37, then anchored the 400y medley relay to another second-place finish to Texas.

    Other highlights included junior Jean Basson’s time of 4:13.10 and first place finish in the men’s 500y freestyle and Bryan O’Connor’s 2nd-place finish of 1:43.96 seconds in the 200y individual medley. Both Basson and O’Connor swam well enough to warrant NCAA qualification.

    For the women, the 400y medley relay including the foursome of Justine Schluntz, Annie Chandler, Ana Agy and Taylor Baughman. Baughman won the event in an NCAA qualifying time of 3:31.71, anchored both the 200y freestyle and 400y medley relays Thursday, while also racing in the 50y freestyle.

    Competing in the 50y freestyle as well, senior Lara Jackson blew away the competition with a time of 21.33. Her mark was more than half a second faster than the 2nd-place finisher Hee-jin Chang of Texas and easily exceeded the 21.93 qualifying standard for the championships.

    Jackson also led the charge in what was probably the most dominant event for the Wildcats all day. Of the top 16 positions in the 100y butterfly – all 16 of which were scored finishes – the women placed 10 swimmers.

    Both Jackson and Ana Agy qualified for the NCAAs in the event, taking first and third with times of 51.12 and 51.74, respectively.

    Other notable performances were freshman Alyssa Anderson’s continued dominance in the 500y freestyle. Anderson won the event with a time of 4:39.54 while teammate Leone Vorster was the runner-up at 4:39.83.

    The Wildcats will take to the water today as the women look to increase their lead and the men try to catch a talented Texas squad. Today’s events include the 800y freestyle relays, the 400y IM and the 100y breaststrokes and backstrokes.

    Saturday’s events will cap off the invitational with the 1650y freestyles, 200y breaststrokes and backstrokes and then the 400y freestyle relays.

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