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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats begin swimming season against Hawaii

Press Photo
Press Photo

Arizona’s No. 4 ranked men’s swimming program has a reputation for being among the best in the nation, in large part thanks to its recruiting prowess. The Wildcats look to start another year off strong, hosting a two-day opening meet against Hawaii at Hillenbrand Aquatics Center Friday and Saturday. Freshmen Andrew Sovero and Kelly Moodie are among the young swimmers expected to swim well this year for the Wildcats.

“I’m definitely nervous coming into my first college meet,” Sovero said. “I have expectations but haven’t set anything too high for myself. I just want to go out this weekend and race and do my best.”

Sovero swam for McDonogh High School and the Eagle Swim Team in Maryland, the same school and team as UA freestyle/fly swimmer Giles Smith. A native of Baltimore, Sovero has been swimming competitively since he was six.

“I think I have pretty good power,” Sovero said. “I’m definitely going to use it to my advantage coming off the blocks.”

In his junior year of high school, Sovero was named Junior National Champion in the 100 breaststroke, with a time of 54.77.

Aside from his main event, Sovero also compiled a 2:03 in the 200 breaststroke and looks to cut down his times even more. In 2012 he was given All-American honors in the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. After high school, Sovero committed to Arizona.

He said he believed it to be the best fit for him.

“It was my best option,” Sovero said. “They have a tradition of strong breaststrokers and a top-five team. I really pictured myself succeeding here.”

Associate head coach Rick DeMont said he anticipates the two freshmen will swim well during the winter and expects them to improve as the spring nears.

“Both are really talented guys who don’t have a ton of training background,” DeMont said. “We hope they will both improve a lot, both at the conference level and at the NCAA level.”

Moodie, a native of Japan, is no stranger to success. Moodie swam at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo, under his father who was head coach.

“I’m not very nervous,” Moodie said. “Since arriving here, I’ve been training harder than ever. I’m pretty confident. Even though it takes a lot out of you, I know I can swim fast and do my best. It will be my first meet in five months.”

Throughout high school, Moodie compiled a 1:50.98 and a 3:56.09 in the 200 and 400 freestyle respectively and was a three-time national champion in Japan. He also earned a bronze medal in the 200 freestyle at the Asian Junior Games.

“I chose Arizona because its tradition of excellence, both in the pool and academically,” Moodie said. “Since I’m an international swimmer, Arizona has a history of training and helping international swimmers succeed.”

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