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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Mixed results for UA swimming, dive in L.A.”

    Numbers would indicate that the No. 2 men’s and No. 4 women’s swim and dive teams returned from their California visit Saturday with a mixed bag of success, as the women’s team split in meets with USC and UCLA, and the men’s team lost to USC.

    The women’s team was upset by the Trojans in Los Angeles on Friday 164-136, but regrouped Saturday, beating the UCLA Bruins 157-121. The men’s squad also lost to USC on Friday 152-91, then raced in a dual meet between USC and ASU, in which the Wildcats were not scored.

    But the losses do not necessarily mean either of the teams swam poorly, nor do they imply Arizona was matched against a weak opponent.

    The Trojans tote strong swimmers in two-time NCAA champion Rebecca Soni and Olympic trials qualifier and Arizona high school product Buddy Turner.

    “”(Head coach) Frank (Busch) doesn’t like to think about it like win or lose,”” said senior Lara Jackson. “”If you look at how the girls swam at USC, we all did really well.””

    Jackson helped the Wildcats dominate the 50-yard freestyle at USC, winning in a time of 22.47. Teammates Lindsey Kelly and Anna Turner finished third and fourth with times of 23.40 and 23.50. At UCLA, Kelly and Turner then took first and third places in the same event.

    But if there was one swimmer to keep tabs on, it would have to be freshman Alyssa Anderson. Anderson won the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly on Saturday against UCLA. Her time of 1:48.52 in the 200-y freestyle was more than two seconds faster than second-place finisher and teammate Katherine Raatz.

    Before those two wins, Anderson had raced four times the previous day. She won the 1000-yard freestyle in 9:44.65, took second in the 200-y butterfly in 1:58.70 and finished third in the 500-yard freestyle.

    Anderson closed out Friday on a 400-yard freestyle relay team that finished fourth. The Wildcats’ ‘A’ team – comprised of Justine Schluntz, Jackson, Leone Vorster and Taylor Baughman – won the event in 3:19.26.

    On the men’s front, freshmanA.J. Tipton won the 200-y butterfly in 1:47.43, narrowly defeating Trojan Josh Joiner by just 0.16 seconds.

    In the second to last event of the day, senior Josh Arreguin was the only swimmer in the 200-yard breaststroke to break two minutes, winning in 1:59.17.

    But the most impressive race for the men as a team came four races after Tipton’s victory.

    Jake Tapp led a sweep of first through third places in the men’s 200-yard backstroke, winning in a time of 1:46.45. Showing off the Wildcats depth, Tapp was closely followed by Bryan O’Connor and Scott Jackson, all three finishing within 1.53 seconds of each other.

    In men’s diving, sophomore Ben Grado placed second in the 3-meter event to continue his strong season.

    Talented freshman diver Ainsley Oliver won her 1-meter event against USC, then took the 3m event at UCLA, narrowly defeating USC diver Tori Ishimatsu 274.95 to 273.52. Oliver also placed second in the 1m against the Bruins.

    Notable swimming performances for the women against UCLA included Ana Agy’s win in the 200-y backstroke, edging out Vorster by 0.15 seconds. Agy also led the field in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.03.

    Three other races went one-two in favor of the Wildcats.

    The women took first and second in the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard breaststroke, confirming that the USC loss was not on their minds.

    “”(Saturday) was a different meet,”” Jackson said of the UCLA meet. “”We attacked it like we always do. We’re in a good spot, where we wanna be, and that’s more important than winning or losing.””

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