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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Swim and dive to face Pac-10 powerhouses

    The No. 2 Arizona women’s and No. 5 men’s swimming and diving teams may brave the rain at Hillenbrand Aquatic Centerfor a second straight weekend, this time against two of the Pacific 10 Conference’s elite schools.

    The Wildcats compete against the No. 1 Stanford women and No. 2 men today at 2 p.m. The Arizona women swim against No. 4 California tomorrow at 1 p.m.

    “”I’m going to keep warm,”” UA head coach Frank Busch said.

    The same cannot be said for the swimmers.

    “”It definitely makes it more of a challenge just to even try to stay warm and keep your muscles loose and fresh,”” said senior captain Whitney Myers. “”It’s nice to remember that the opponent is also having to deal with the same challenges, and we’re kind of doing it together and both battling it.””

    Rain or shine, the teams will be in the pool to compete in one of the most difficult meets of the season, as the Stanford men have won the Pac-10 Championship every year since 1982.

    “”These are two of the best teams not only this year but historically in NCAA history,”” Busch said. “”Stanford men and women are just outstanding, and the Cal women have some great athletes, too.””

    The Wildcat men’s team (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) is no stranger to battling top-ranked Pac-10 teams. It came from behind Jan. 5 against No. 4 California, needing the final relay to beat the Golden Bears for the first time in 14 years, 124-118.

    Junior Albert Subirats said he gained confidence from the meet that will carry into this weekend against the Cardinal.

    “”I think that last week and beating Cal for the first time in 14 years is a pretty big accomplishment for us,”” he said. “”We will probably be better this weekend than we were last weekend.””

    The Wildcat women (5-0, 3-0 Pac-10) come in less seasoned, as their last meet was against unranked teams Oregon State and NAU.

    “”I think this weekend will be much tougher than last weekend,”” Myers said, “”but I think the girls are really confident with the training we’ve done over Christmas break and the way that we did step up last weekend and perform pretty well.””

    Both teams are still feeling the burn from their annual “”Christmas training,”” during which they had 22 practices in 14 days, Busch said.

    “”(We’re) definitely tired, but … we’re excited to go out there and do more racing,”” Myers said.

    Though this meet will be against two fierce Pac-10 rivals, Busch said the ultimate goal for the team is to do well in the NCAA Championships in March. Accordingly, the teams will not risk injury or stamina by overexerting in January.

    “”We’re going to race these guys and girls as best as we can, and whatever happens, happens,”” he said, “”but we won’t take any part of our season and change it just because we have a big time dual meet coming up.””

    At the top of the list

    The Wildcats have placed in the top five nationally in 12 of 19 individual events this season, including 11 first-place marks, according to the NCAA’s top-times list.

    In the top spot for the Arizona men are Subirats in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100y backstroke and butterfly, senior Adam Ritter in the 200y freestyle and individual medley, and freshman Jack Brown in the 400y IM.

    On the women’s side, Myers posted top times in the 100y butterfly and the 200y IM, while junior Lacey Nymeyer placed first in the 100y and 200y freestyle events. Sophomore Lara Jackson also made a top time in the 50y freestyle.

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