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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Swim teams back in action after three-week hiatus

    With almost three weeks of rest since their last meet, the No. 2 Arizona women’s and No. 6 men’s swimming teams will compete today through Saturday at the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas.

    The teams will also have two of their captains, seniors Whitney Myers and Adam Ritter, back for the first time since Nov. 3.

    “”I’m dying to just race people other than the people I see every day in practice,”” Ritter said.

    The two captains did not compete with their teammates in Los Angeles Nov. 10-11 against the Bruins and Trojans, instead staying behind for the announcement of the Homecoming king and queen.

    While the men (2-1, 0-1 Pacific 10 Conference) dropped their first meet of the year to the Trojans, Ritter was crowned king.

    UA head coach Frank Busch said he is excited to have the two seniors return to competition.

    “”The king is back,”” Busch said.

    The women (3-0, 2-0 Pac-10) have won all three of their meets this season, jumping in the rankings from No. 4 to No. 2.

    Neither team has seen action since their time in Los Angeles and have been using the past two weeks to “”try and get rested, you know, pick up a little speed,”” Busch said.

    Ritter said he is itching to get back in the water, as it has been even longer since he has seen competition.

    “”The experience (of Homecoming) itself is something that I definitely enjoyed, and I don’t regret not going to the meet,”” Ritter said. “”Obviously, I wish I could’ve done both.””

    At the invitational the Wildcats will make their first attempt to meet the time standards required to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the spring.

    “”We really try to get as many people qualified now as possible, and that way we can just zero in on the national championships at the end of the year,”” Busch said.

    Both teams won the Texas Invitational last year to post the first dual victory at the event in Arizona swimming history.

    “”Last year was probably the best experience I’ve had so far, in terms of going to Texas,”” said Ritter, who qualified for the NCAA Championships at the meet last year.

    In terms of what the teams will face off against, Busch said the meet is usually competitive and stacked with “”a lot of good teams,”” including the No. 1 Stanford women and No. 3 men, the No. 2 Texas men and No. 11 women, and ASU’s No. 21 men and No. 24 women.

    Ritter said he is also encouraged by the development of his teammates that he sees in practice daily.

    “”I think we’ll surprise a lot of people with the young guys we have,”” he said. “”A lot of people have written us off because of the seniors who graduated, but I’m really pleased with the underclassmen and their progression.””

    Women’s diving adds three recruits for next season

    The Arizona women’s diving team will look much younger next season, as the team picked up three new recruits last week.

    “”Having a really strong diving team that’s young to complement a young swimming team will only help us in our quest to win a national championship,”” said UA head diving coach Michele Mitchell.

    Danni Ridgway from Columbus, Ohio, Carli Smith from Houston and Tucsonan Sammy Kunk signed National Letters of Intent, committing to Arizona for the 2007-08 season, Mitchell announced Friday.

    All three are finishing their final year in high school and all have competed on a national stage in their swimming careers.

    “”They’re all national-caliber athletes, and they bring a lot of good strong work ethic as well as previous success,”” Mitchell said.

    Ridgway and Kunk also received academic as well as athletic scholarships from Arizona, Mitchell said.

    “”That’s always nice, to add kids to your team that are not only excelling in the competition area but doing well in the classroom,”” she said. “”Those are the kind of kids I like to recruit.””

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