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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Men’s swim downs No. 1 Texas to earn 1st-ever top ranking

    Senior Darian Townsend comes up for air during the butterfly stroke in the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center on Saturday. The Arizona mens swim team will be ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in the programs history after defeating then-No. 1 Texas.
    Senior Darian Townsend comes up for air during the butterfly stroke in the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center on Saturday. The Arizona men’s swim team will be ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in the program’s history after defeating then-No. 1 Texas.

    The nation’s top two men’s swimming programs faced off Friday and Saturday at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center and No. 2 Arizona left no doubt as to which one was the best team.

    The Arizona men’s swimming team (8-0) will be ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history when the next polls are released in two weeks thanks to it’s 200.5-152.5 win over No. 1 Texas.

    “”Texas is a well-coached team and we really enjoy racing (teams of) that caliber,”” said UA head coach Frank Busch. “”As far as I know, I think that’s the first time we’ve ever beaten them in a duel meet in the 19 years that I’ve been here.””

    The key to Arizona’s victory was again the four relay races – 200-meter and 400m freestyle and 200 and 400 medleys relays – which Arizona swept. The Wildcats have yet to lose a relay event this season.

    “”We take a lot of pride in relays,”” Busch said. “”They’re worth double points in NCAA’s, so if you can’t relay up you’re not gonna go anywhere in the national championship and these guys really take it seriously.””

    On Senior Weekend, the seniors led the way as Darian Townsend and Albert Subirats were on each of the winning relay teams and also had strong individual performances. Townsend won the 200y individual medley and took third in the 200y and 100y freestyle while Subirats won the 100y butterfly, 100y backstroke, 50y freestyle and took second in the 100y freestyle.

    Other Wildcats also swam well with junior Joshua Arreguin winning two events – 100y and 200y breaststroke – and freshman Cory Chitwood winning the 200y backstroke and taking second in the 200y butterfly and 400y individual medley.

    The win puts Arizona in position to make even more history in two weeks in Tempe when it takes on ASU. A win there would mark the first time in program history that the team finished a season undefeated in duel meets. Arizona even unveiled a new team T-shirt with ‘Beastmode’ emblazoned on the front and ‘Heart, Soul, Passion, Battle’ – one of the team’s cheers – on the back.

    Senior Matt Biel dreamed up the ‘Beastmode’ T-shirt idea, drawing inspiration from a rap song the team listens to before swimming, to try and help motivate the team.

    “”It means just go berserk, just to go crazy when we swim,”” Townsend said.

    With so much history being made, and potentially more on the horizon, the Wildcats won’t rest on their laurels. Townsend acknowledged the season is far from over, but that they should be in excellent shape heading into the Pacific 10 Conference Championships and NCAA Championships in March.

    “”The big goal is always NCAA’s,”” Subirats said. “”The rankings are nice, but to me, it doesn’t really mean much. The ultimate goal is always to place high in NCAA’s.””

    Into the diving well

    The Arizona men’s diving team battled the Texas men’s diving team over the weekend and held its own. Senior Matt Bisordi led the way for the diving team as he won the 3-meter event (353.18) and took third in the 1m event (321.89). Bisordi was a mere 1.06 points away from second place in the 1m competition and won the 3m by 22.28 points. Freshman Wildcat Ben Grado turned in a good performance for the second weekend in a row by taking fourth in the 1m (312.6) and fifth in the 3m (277.64).

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