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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Golden Bears spoil Wildcats’ 4-peat in swim

    When the totals were added up, the scores read like this: California 1550, Arizona 1339, Stanford 1317.

    The Golden Bears came into the Pacific 10 Conference meet ready to blow everyone out of the water, but the Arizona swim team’s second-place performance was nonetheless a testament to head coach Frank Busch’s preparation for a strong overall seasonÿ- one geared toward another NCAA championship.

    “”I think our girls did a great job and raced really hard,”” Busch said. “”Cal was the better team at this meet, but we’re looking forward to trying to rest so we can be at our very best in three weeks (for the NCAA Championships).””

    In effect, the Pac-10 meet looked like the Golden Bears’ championships as they smashed through an American record in the 200-yard freestyle and put up Pac-10 records in other relays.

    “”I think they were really geared for this meet,”” Busch said. “”I don’t know; I don’t coach them and I don’t know how they do what they do, but I know our girls did great.””

    As Busch said, Arizona’s finish was especially admirable considering their circumstances.

    They weren’t shaved and weren’t as rested as some of the other teams. On top of that, the team was hit by a bug that put a number of the women under the weather.

    “”It just shows how strong we’ll be three weeks from now,”” said senior Julie Stupp. “”A lot of those teams were shaved and tapered and ready to go and we were not. For us to compete at the same levelÿ- if not better, than a lot of those teams … three weeks from now – we’re going to be great.””

    Stupp had one of her best performances of the season, setting a personal best time in the 200-yard individual medley behind teammate Jenny Forster, who had an NCAA qualifying time of 1:55.27. On Saturday evening, Stupp tied for second in the 200y breaststroke in 2:10.57 behind Trojan Rebecca Soni, who set a new American record in the event.

    For Arizona, Pac-10 meet records were set by Lara Jackson’s 21.36 in the 50y freestyle and by the 200y freestyle relay team of Jackson, Anna Turner, Justine Schluntz and Taylor Baughman, which won in 1:27.47.

    Other notable Wildcat performances included freshman Alyssa Anderson’s win in the 500y freestyle after placing eighth in the preliminary round. Junior Ana Agy proved to be one of the best backstrokers in the country by winning the 100y backstroke in 51.65 and placing second in the 200y backstroke, clocking in at 1:52.88.

    Arizona placed two swimmers in the top-eight finishes in seven of the 21 events. With teams like Cal, Stanford and USC blasting through Pac-10 and American records, that depth quietly put Arizona in position to score without winning every event.

    “”I really can’t think of all the individuals, but we just had a lot of great performances,”” Busch said of his team. “”We just had a sickness bug that went through the team and got some people pretty sick and there’s nothing you can do about it.””

    Added Stupp: “”We didn’t want to lose that meet; that was a little bit of a bummer. But for those (other teams) to be setting American records and for our team to be right there in the hunt, that’s awesome.””

    Into the diving well

    Freshman diver Ainsley Oliver gave Arizona more than it could ask for, taking third in the platform event, seventh in the 1-meter springboard and 14th in the 3m springboard.

    That gave the women’s team a total of 63 points. Considering her seventh-place finish in the 1m event scored 23 of those points, taking that event out of the total team score would have put Arizona in third place, finishing one point behind Stanford’s score of 1317.

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