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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Swim to host Stanford and Cal

    Swim to host Stanford and Cal

    Arizona swim and dive hasn’t competed in more than a month, and the Wildcats won’t have much time to ease back into competition with Stanford and California in town.

    The Cardinal and Golden Bears are two of the nation’s top programs, year in and year out. This season is no different, with Stanford boasting the No. 3 men’s team and the No. 1 women’s team, while Cal features a No. 4 men’s and women’s teams.

    The Wildcats will face the Cardinal today at 2 p.m. and the Golden Bears Saturday at 1 p.m.

    “”This weekend should be tough,”” said head coach Frank Busch, who leads the No. 2 men and No. 14 women. “”These are great teams we’re facing. There will be some knock down, drag out races. I really enjoy swimming with them, great coaches and great swimmers.””

    As always, rankings are irrelevant to Busch — it’s all about continuing to improve for the championship tournament in March.

    “”The kids had a week off in December and have been working hard since then,”” Busch said. “”These are the dress rehearsals for the big event. There are no do-overs. Now we want to be racing at our highest levels.””

    As for the meets, junior captain Cory Chitwood, recently named December’s Pacific 10 Conference Swimmer of the Month, is well aware of the talent coming to Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

    “”This weekend will have some of the fastest swimming in the nation,”” Chitwood said. “”We consider these to be our rivals in the Pac-10. Us, Stanford, Cal and Texas are usually in the top five.””

    Although there’s no hiding Cal and Stanford’s prowess in the pool, Chitwood, like Busch, also ignores the rankings and solely focuses on the team’s upcoming performances.  

    “”I just care about the wins,”” said Chitwood. “”In my mind, I think we’re number one. I’m just looking forward to us getting on the blocks this weekend and seeing what we can do.””

    The men’s side defeated both teams in dual season last year, while the women fell to both. Unlike the men’s team, the women’s side is going into this weekend with the lower ranking.

    However, the women’s side is coming off two consecutive wins against NAU and Oregon State, and could carry that momentum into this weekend.

    Despite the potentially higher levels of stress and pressure that can occur as the team inches closer to the end of its season, both Busch and Chitwood note their excitement.  

    “”This weekend should be really fun for us,”” Chitwood said.

    Busch added: “”This is the most fun time of the year for me. I’m looking forward to it.””

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