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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Swimmers ‘bare’ down for Texas

This weekend, swimming superpowers Texas and Arizona will collide at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The two teams will duke it out as the nation’s best.

The women’s side features a match-up of highly ranked teams, but much of the focus will be on the showdown on the men’s side. The Texas men’s team comes into the meet as the nation’s top-ranked team. The UA men are ranked second.

But, while most people would believe that going against the top-ranked team in the nation would cause the UA swim team to work even harder or put more emphasis on the match-up, that isn’t the case.

“”It’s a way to gain confidence and learn about racing, but we are not putting anything extra into it,”” said senior co-captain Jordan Smith.

This weekend’s meet isn’t going to make or break the team’s season. The Wildcats have their eyes set on a greater goal: A national championship.

“”Win and loss records aren’t important like in other sports, it’s all about time scores and we have met about 90-95 percent of our standards already,”” said head coach Frank Busch.

Just because the majority of UA swimmers and divers have already qualified for nationals, don’t expect them to look past Texas.

“”When you get a chance to race against great talent — out of sheer pride, we want to try and beat them,”” Busch said.

This weekend’s meet also marks Senior Day for the 17 seniors on the men’s and women’s teams.

The fact that Senior Day comes on the same day as such a competitive meet isn’t lost on seniors like Smith.

“”It’s nice that it falls on a big meet,”” he said. “”It really adds to the excitement.””

These seniors will go down in the UA history books as swim’s largest senior class and perhaps its most successful, having already won a national championship.

“”These are very good athletes, and 90 percent of them have performed at the highest level at the NCAAs,”” Busch said. “”No other class has done what they have.””

While the seniors still realize they have a lot of work left to do to finish their college careers on a high note, they also are looking back on their time at UA.

“”I’ve learned so much and grown so much in and out of the pool. I’m proud to have been a part of this program,”” Smith said.

The seniors’ quest to finish their home career with a win begins Friday at 2 p.m. at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center and concludes on Saturday at 12 p.m.

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