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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Swim earns surprising split in Texas dual meet

    In last month’s Texas Invitational, the Arizona women’s swim team defeated a Texas squad led by a phenomenal freshman class, while the men fell to an experienced Longhorn team, seemingly making this weekend’s rematch bound to end in a similar fashion.

    But this weekend, the unexpected occurred when the Arizona men defeated the veteran No. 1 Texas men’s squad in their own pool 204-149 and the women fell to an upstart women’s team 186.5-162.5.

    “”There were good swims on both sides, but it was a tough meet,”” said UA head coach Frank Busch, who was surprised by the outcome. “”We just have to swim better than we did as a whole.””

    As hosts, the Longhorns split half of the swimming events into Friday and Saturday sessions, the first of which would dictate the final scores. After Friday’s events, the men had jumped out to a 103-83 lead, whereas the women found themselves behind 107-77.

    Both the men’s and women’s teams started the meet with wins in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The Arizona women won in 1:30.58, while the men gave freshman Adam Small the anchor leg and won by a half-second over Texas, which had two Olympians in the event.

    Other Texas relay teams with American Olympians David Walters and Ricky Berens would succumb to many Arizona efforts by the weekend’s end. Most Longhorn defeats came at the hands of two foreign Olympians on the Wildcats’ roster – Brazilian Nicolas Nilo and Canadian Joel Greenshields, who competed in full-body suits in attempts to earn NCAA qualifying times.

    “”We were missing those guys when they couldn’t swim with us,”” relay teammate Jordan Smith said of their absence last semester. “”Everyday in the locker room we’ve been saying, ‘Are you guys cleared yet, you guys cleared yet?’ It helps out a lot.””

    A few events later, Nilo and Greenshields took the first two places in the 100y freestyle over Berens and Walters in similar times of 43.04 and 43.09. respectively.

    “”Going into (Saturday), we just wanted to keep it going, and we didn’t want them to get any momentum,”” Smith said.

    And the men did just that, taking first and second place in the opening 200y medley relay. Likewise, the women opened the second day by going one-two in the same event, hoping to play catch-up in the scoring.

    Perhaps the women’s strongest individual race came with Julie Stupp and Annie Chandler taking the top two places in the 200y breaststroke in times of 2:14.71 and 2:26.43, respectively.

    Wins by Jackson in the 50y freestyle and Alyssa Anderson in the 500y freestyle helped the women keep the score within reach, but even with their success in multiple relays, they were not able to close the scoring gap by the end of the meet.

    On the other hand, the men continued one of their best showings of the season.

    Sophomore Tom Cole and senior Josh Arreguin took first and second in the 200y breaststroke and then second and third in the 100y breast, finishing behind teammate Marcus Titus for the Arizona sweep.

    Furthering their cause were juniors Jake Tapp and Jack Brown, who took two wins apiece.

    Brown won the 200y individual medley over Texas’ Berens, then the 400y individual medley over freshman teammate Austen Thompson. Tapp won the 100y and 200y backstroke while also taking part in the victorious 400y freestyle and 400y medley relay teams.

    Meanwhile, the Arizona diving teams found tough competition in Austin. Sophomore Ben Grado took second place to Texas divers in the 1-meter and 3m events while Ainsley Oliver placed fourth in the two events behind a trio of Longhorns.

    As for the striking turn that the men’s team experienced this weekend, Smith said they will ride this win through the rest of the season.

    “”This part of the season kind of reminds me of last year before we went to NCAAs,”” he said. “”It might not help qualify for championships or anything, but you just build momentum and help get confidence, and it helps a lot to win at this time.””

    And for the women, who have another tough loss under their belt, Busch will make a change that will probably make them smile.

    “”Right now, we’re just looking for a lot of rest,”” the head coach said. “”We have a lot of people who are not anywhere near how good they can be, and the only way we’re going to get them there is if they start resting.””

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