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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Swim and dive subdue Sun Devils

    Thirty of 32.

    That’s how many first place finishes Arizona’s fourth-ranked men’s and women’s swim teams took against a struggling ASU squad Saturday, defeating the Sun Devil men 178-83 and women 174-109.

    Saturday’s meet celebrated the senior class’s last home meet at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. Before the teams hit the water, accolades for each senior were read, and before it was all said and done, the seniors put on quite a show for the home crowd.

    “”It’s sad because it’s the last one,”” said departing senior Nicolas Nilo. “”But it’s also a relief that I’m getting out, and that I did everything that I’m capable of. It’s a mix of excitement and sadness at the same time.””

    Nilo won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.25 seconds and led an Arizona sweep as sophomore Rob Iddiols and junior Jordan Smith touched the wall behind him. Nilo then took first in the 200m individual medley with 2:01.49 in his first and only meet in the team’s new short-course meter pool.

    Another senior who caught UA head coach Frank Busch’s eye was Tucson native Josh Arreguin.

    “”He was probably the swimmer of the meet,”” Busch said. “”It’s great to see that because he hasn’t been to the NCAAs and the times he did today, I’d say he has a great chance to make it with that. We’d be thrilled if we could get him qualified.””

    Despite it being an unscored exhibition for him, Arreguin was the only swimmer in the 100m breaststroke to break the one-minute barrier with a time of 59.88. The senior also won another unscored 200m breaststroke over senior teammate Andrew Callahan and swam a solid leg in the meet-opening 200m medley relay.

    Those 200m medley relays were microcosms for the rest of the meet. Winning in 1:52.95, the women’s team swept first through third places with their ‘A’ team: junior Ana Agy and seniors Jessica Embick, Lara Jackson and Taylor Baughman.

    All four of the men’s 200m medley relay teams defeated every ASU team as well. Iddiols and juniors Jake Tapp, Marcus Titus and Bryan O’Connor came out on top with a 1:38.96 finish.

    For the most part, the coaching staff mixed up relay teams and placed swimmers in events not to their strengths, which kept the meet a little more competitive against the struggling Sun Devils.

    Agy swam the 100m breaststroke and the 100m freestyle as opposed to her usual backstroke events, and Jackson didn’t compete in her trademarked 50m freestyle.

    Some of the younger swimmers on the men’s team raced in full-body suits in preparation for the Pacific 10 Conference Championships. After placing second in the 50m freestyle, Iddiols took third in the 100m freestyle in a time of 50.58 and freshman Pete Stacy took first in the 100m backstroke and second in the 200m backstroke.

    But the most amusing lineup change came in the meet’s finale, the 200m

    freestyle relay. Top diver Ainsley Oliver swam the fourth leg of the women’s ‘D’ team.

    “”They’re sad they’re not going to be part of this (anymore), but there’s another chapter in their life,”” Busch said of his senior class. “”There’s a real bond here, and that’s not something that when you pledge your swimming career off that you let go.””

    Into the diving well

    Sophomore Ben Grado, fresh off an invitation to the USA Diving Selection Camp at Ohio State University, won both of his events. The camp serves the USA team in selecting members for upcoming national competitions. Grado placed in the top 15 in all of his events.

    In Saturday’s meet, Grado finished the 1-meter springboard with a score of 345.98, then scored a 352.43 in his 3m event.

    For the women, Oliver also aided the Wildcats’ cause by taking first in the 1m event with a 268.73 score, then placing second in the 3m with 282.23.

    In the original online edition of this story, the swimmer featured in an accompanying photograph was misidentified. The man in the picture was Matt Grevers, a Northwestern graduate who trains with UA head coach Frank Busch in Tucson. The Daily Wildcat regrets the error.

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