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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Men’s swim in 1st after day 1 at NCAAs

    The No. 1 Arizona men’s swim team hoped to prove Arizona was the premier swimming program in the country, and it showed its true colors last night in the 2008 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

    After the UA women’s team won the NCAA crown last week, the men’s squad made steps to make it a ‘back-to-back’ title for the Wildcats as they placed swimmers in the top three of all five events last night in Seattle.

    “”I don’t even know what I’m expecting right now,”” said UA head swim coach Frank Busch. “”I’m tired from last week and this is just all fun and games right now.””

    The team of sophomore Jordan Smith, junior Nicolas Nilo and senior Albert Subirats and Darian Townsend started off the night by placing second behind five-time defending champion Auburn in the 200-yard freestyle event.

    Arizona followed that up with a third-place finish from sophomore Jean Basson in the 500y freestyle and in the third event of the night, Townsend won the 200y individual medley with a time of 1:42.72.

    Subirats continued the good showing for the Wildcats as he took third in the 50y freestyle event, but the most important points were won in the night’s final event, the 400y medley relay.

    Freshman Cory Chitwood, sophomore Joel Greenshields and seniors Ivan Barnes and Subirats combined to take first in a Pacific 10 Conference 1-2-3 finish. Arizona’s time of 3:04.43 bested second place California (3:05.38) and third place Stanford (3:05.43).

    After the first day of competition the top five schools are Arizona (137), Texas (116), California (112), Auburn (97) and Stanford (93).

    “”You’ve got to (do well in the relays) if you wanna win or if you want a chance to win,”” Busch said. “”We’re off to great start, but like any other meet, it’s gonna come down to the wire for sure.””

    Into the diving well

    Arizona also had one diver in action last night as freshman Ben Grado took to the 1-meter springboards. Although he was unable to place in the top 16 as he finished 23rd, UA head dive coach Michele Mitchell said Grado had a case of the jitters.

    “”This was Ben’s first really big meet and he did a good job,”” Mitchell said. “”I think he was a little disappointed with his performance at the end of the day, but I think he learned what the pressure of the NCAAs is and he and I both anticipate a better day tomorrow. The bag of nerves should be gone (today).””

    Grado looks to earn some points toward a team title as he hits the 3m springboards today and the platforms tomorrow.

    Final Lap

    The men’s and women’s swim and dive teams had six members selected to the NCAA All-Academic team. To be considered for the award, each person had to have at least a 3.0 GPA and be a significant contributor to the team.

    Sophomores Ana Agy (3.90) and Justine Schluntz (3.92) and senior Lacey Nymeyer (3.85) were named to the first team as was sophomore Jack Brown (3.72) from the men’s squad. Two wildcats earned second team honors, sophomore Bryan O’Connor (3.52) and junior diver Allison Scaife (3.60).

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