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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s swim team tries to avoid ‘regression’

    In 2004, it came in fourth; 2005, third; and 2006, second. In 2007, the No. 5 Arizona men’s swimming team is only looking to the top at the NCAA Championships.

    “”I keep telling the guys that … I hate regression,”” senior Adam Ritter said. “”I don’t want to get another third, fourth or second. I think it’s kinda fate then, you know?””

    Last year, the men (6-3, 3-2 Pacific 10 Conference) went to the meet with nine members of the team, four of them seniors, and ultimately posted the highest finish in Arizona swimming history.

    This year, the squad grew to 12 swimmers, 11 of whom qualified for the event, which will run March 15-17.

    Women in first place at NCAAs

    The No. 4 Arizona women’s swimming team is in first place with 168 points after four events on the first night of finals at the 2007 NCAA Championships.

    The women (8-2, 4-2 Pacific 10 Conference) accumulated two titles, one individual and one relay, at the meet in Minneapolis, Minn., and set eight new records in what could lead to their first NCAA team title in Arizona history.

    The first title of the night went to the 200-yard freestyle relay team of junior Lacey Nymeyer and sophomores Lara Jackson, Anna Turner and Lindsey Kelly.

    Senior Whitney Myers posted her third individual NCAA championship of her collegiate career in the 200y individual medley.

    Other events included the 50y freestyle, in which Jackson finished second and Nymeyer placed third.

    In the 500y freestyle, freshman Leone Vorster came in eighth place.
    – Arizona Daily Wildcat

    “”I have a lot of faith in this team, and I feel like we’re going in with a team that’s just as good as last year’s,”” said Ritter, the only senior going to the meet. “”I think we have a little more depth than we had last year, but obviously, we have more guys going.””

    After junior Bart Steninger claimed a Pac-10 title in the 200-yard breaststroke event, the team saw its hopes of Arizona’s first national title brighten.

    “”Going into the Pac-10s, we were hoping to get some guys … but getting two is just going to be awesome, not only with the points they’re going to score,”” Ritter said, “”but just taking a bigger team to the meet in general is going to be nice because the more guys we have there, the more support we have.””

    Sophomore Nicolas Nilo, one of the nine in attendance last season, added: “”Bart’s (performance), for example, was just an amazing swim, so he dropped a lot of his best times and that will definitely help us.

    “”The more people we get for the team, (the) more people show up, the more chances we get.””

    Now that the team has its support system, it needs to get used to the environment, Nilo and Ritter said.

    The meet is in Minneapolis, where as of last night the temperature fell to freezing.

    “”I was talking to the girls since they’re in Minnesota right now, and they’re telling me it’s like 20s, 30s,”” Ritter said. “”We’re getting the best weather we’ve had all year (in Tucson).””

    The team will leave Monday morning and have until Thursday morning to get familiar with its surroundings.

    “”Well, between Monday and Thursday, we just need to get as much rest as we can, and we get there, we gotta get used to the facility, get used to the environment,”” Nilo said.

    Ritter added, “”Basically our schedule is (to) just get settled in the hotel and go to the pool usually in the morning and then once in the evening, just kinda splash around, nothing too intense, and I guess just preparing ourselves mentally for the meet itself.””

    Not only the weather will be in the way of the Wildcats but also No. 3 Auburn, which won the title last year.

    “”When people think about swimming, the best, there’s three teams that come to mind,”” Ritter said. “”That’s Auburn, Texas and Stanford. Those three teams have really dominated the swimming teams in college, so we’re trying to break into that.

    “”Being second last year was a big step, but those three teams are definitely going to be there. Those are going to be the three other teams competing for the title, and I like our chances just as much as anyone else’s.””

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