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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Women’s swim battles back to nab Pac-10 title

    With only 56 points Wednesday night, the No. 4 Arizona women’s swimming team found itself losing the fight to win its second-straight Pacific 10 Conference title.

    And with only three more days of competition left at the Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach, Calif., the Wildcats were in eighth place after a disqualification in the first relay.

    “”We were all kind of like, ‘What just happened? How are we so far behind all these teams that we know we’re better than?'”” said senior Whitney Myers.

    But the Wildcats (8-2, 4-2 Pac-10) turned around their drive to the title Thursday night, ultimately moving up seven slots to capture the title Saturday night with 1481.5 points.

    “”I’m not so sure I thought we ever had a shot until after Friday night (‘s) finals,”” said UA head coach Frank Busch said. “”We had just really closed the gap.””

    The title was the third in Arizona women’s swimming history – the second consecutive win – including a win in 2000.

    “”I think that we’re definitely a force to be reckoned with, and don’t discount us because we’ve never won a national title in the past,”” Myers said.

    Said Busch of last year’s win: “”Last year was kind of unexpected. … We didn’t swim great, but we were better than anybody else there, so we won.

    “”It’s different when it falls in your lap. It’s another thing when you’re fighting for it.””

    The Wildcats had 12 top-10 finishes in Saturday’s finals.

    One of those finishes came from Nymeyer, who finished second in the 100y freestyle.

    The 400y freestyle relay “”A”” team of Myers, junior Lacey Nymeyer and sophomores Lindsey Kelly and Taylor Baughman finished in second place to end the Wildcats’ run.

    The women swam six events Friday night, with Myers coming in second in the 400-yard individual medley, an event in which she won the Pac-10 title last year.

    In the following event, the 100y butterfly, two Wildcats finished in the top-five slots, with sophomore Lara Jackson in fourth and freshman Ana Agy in fifth place.

    For the last three individual events of the night, the 200y freestyle, the 100y breaststroke and the 100y backstroke, the women had six top-seven finishes.

    Rounding off Friday’s competition was the 400y medley relay, in which the “”A”” team of Jackson, Nymeyer and freshmen Annie Chandler and Justine Schluntz finished second.

    “”Just the fact that we supported each other and we were on the side cheering or behind the blocks saying supportive things or inspirational things to each other … we got fired up,”” Myers said. “”And we weren’t going to go down without a fight, even though we kind of struggled to get the ball rolling the first couple sessions of the meet.

    “”We knew we were better than that, and we weren’t going to go down quietly.””

    Busch said the Wildcats have momentum going into the NCAA Championships March 8-10.

    “”This is a time when it’s not about how you’re feeling, it’s about racing hard, and that’s how you prepare for going against the best in the country, by going against a great conference,”” he said. “”Our girls have stepped up and work(ed) on doing the things you need to do to be a national champion.””

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