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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Men’s NCAAs moved to Friday

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
The UA mens swim team made a special visit to the Eller College of Business on Thursday morning, January 28th. The visit included an enthusiastic trunks on streak through the classroom.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA mens swim team made a special visit to the Eller College of Business on Thursday morning, January 28th. The visit included an enthusiastic trunks on streak through the classroom.

All season long, nothing could take down the UA men’s swim team — until Tuesday.

Nine members of the team were checked into the Ohio State University Medical Center just one day before the team was set to begin the NCAA Championships today in Columbus, Ohio.

“”They have been vomiting their guts up for the last 24 hours,”” Arizona head coach Frank Busch said.

After an emergency coaches meeting, it was decided that the championship meet would be postponed until Friday at noon, Collegeswimming.com reported. It was originally scheduled to begin today but Busch said that the illness has been traced back to something from the team’s flight to Columbus.

The team was joined on the flight  to Columbus, Ohio, by the swimmers from No. 2 Texas No. 3 Stanford. Members from those teams are reported to be ill as well. A total of 18 athletes and one coach have been treated, The Associated Press said.

By press time, neither Texas nor Stanford could be reached for confirmation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wouldn’t allow the infected athletes into the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, collegeswimming.com said.

Six of the Arizona swimmers were admitted to the hospital late Tuesday while three more were brought in Wednesday morning. The swimmers were treated for a possible gastrointestinal illness.

By Wednesday evening, all of the swimmers had been released from the hospital, Busch said.

The NCAA, Ohio State, the university’s hospital and the local Ohio health department are all investigating what caused the spread of the illness. Health investigators have already decided that the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion is in acceptable condition for the meet. Preventative measures will continue to ensure that no other swimmers become sick.

While the swimmers are now out of the hospital, the question remains whether they will be able to participate in their events.

“”I realize that I’ve got a bunch of sick guys, so it’s hard for me to predict at this time what’s going to happen,”” said Busch. “”But it’s hard to imagine that they will be at full strength come tomorrow.””

If they’re not, the top-ranked Wildcats will be in a tough spot.

“”Hopefully we can get through this,”” Busch said.

The UA had been strong all season, finishing with an undefeated dual meet season which included a victory over Texas. The team struggled at the Pacific 10 Conference Championships a few weeks ago, finishing in third place.

That finish didn’t concern the team, however, as they used the Pac-10 as preparations for the NCAAs. Those preparations looked as if they would pay off.

“”Pretty much the way we approach it is that we believe that in order to be our best in the NCAA we have to give up a little something,”” Busch said. “”We want to be at our best when it means the most.””

Despite the undefeated regular season, some have overlooked the team.

“”I think a lot of people view our dual-meet season as a fluke, so I would say that we are underdogs, but we like it that way,”” said senior swimmer Jean Basson.

The team’s underdog status is sure to rise with the fate of nine of their swimmers unknown at this point.

“”We are just going to do our best to try and weather the storm,”” Busch said.

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