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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Swimmers take to international waters

    After one of the most successful seasons in Arizona’s swimming and diving history, Arizona swimmers took to the international stage this summer.

    Most recently, Arizona women’s swimmers made their presence known at the 2006 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships, a four-day competition that took place Aug. 17-20, in Victoria, British Columbia.

    Coming off a collegiate season in which she was named Pacific 10 Conference Swimmer of the Year and won the 400-yard individual medley at the NCAA Championships, senior Whitney Myers was named the Female Athlete of the Meet competing for Team USA. Her title was helped by her swim in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.11.

    That time was only .06 seconds from the American record, which was set earlier this month by USA teammate Katie Hoff.

    “”It was pretty exciting, considering girls had broken world records there,”” Myers said.

    UA head coach Frank Busch said: “”I was as surprised as she was. I thought, ‘What the heck.’ I was shocked and elated.””

    Junior Lacey Nymeyer said she had goose bumps during this race, almost like she was a little bit a part of it.

    Myers also had a second-place finish in the “”B”” finals of the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 59.35 seconds.

    Nymeyer competed in the 400m freestyle relay team that came in first place in 3:35.80. Nymeyer also swam in the 800m freestyle relay team that set a new meet record of 7:54.62 and took second place in the 200m freestyle in 2:00.68.

    Myers said it was encouraging to have Busch on the sidelines cheering her on. Busch coached both the men’s and women’s USA teams for the third time in his career, leading the squads to 48 total medals (26 gold, 19 silver, three bronze).

    “”It’s so great to have him there to hold your hand,”” Myers said. “”It’s awesome to see him cheering for you on the side.””

    Nymeyer said that it was very comforting to have Busch at the prestigious meet and that there is nothing like having your home coach there to help you out.

    For some of the swimmers, this was their first glimpse into a real international competitive ring.

    “”With the national team, you get to be a part of the best of the best,”” Nymeyer said. “”It’s very inspiring to be there.””

    From the way the swimmers practice to their diet, much dedication is exhibited at these meets.

    “”Just by seeing the whole next level of competing, we can bring it back to the U of A,”” Nymeyer said.

    For that reason, these international stages of competition could show the athletes a world beyond their college bubbles.

    “”This event definitely got me fired up,”” Myers said. “”I want to keep fighting to stay on top,””

    The exposure to the next level should give the swimmers who competed in the event a springboard into the start of their next collegiate seasons.

    “”There is no doubt that having exposure to the next level is a motivational tool,”” Busch said.

    Extra laps

    Former UA swimmers Roland Schoeman and Lyndon Ferns performed well for South Africa at the meet.

    Schoeman placed second in the 50m freestyle (22.12 seconds) and finished in a tie for third in the 100m freestyle (49.09).

    Ferns, a senior last year, earned a fourth-place finish in the 50-meter freestyle (22.42). He also did well in the 100m butterfly (fourth, 52.90) and 100m freestyle (fifth, 49.11).

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