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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Swim winning amidst tough training

From mid-December through January, the Arizona swim and dive teams take part in some of the most grueling and strenuous training in collegiate sports.

As a result, both men’s and women’s teams entered the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center pool feeling heavy and exhausted last weekend, but left with a pair of dual-meet victories to ease the pain.

“”The meets are always welcome, to not have a practice or something,”” said senior Jordan Smith. “”Everybody likes to race so it’s just a lot of fun.””

With more intense training on the horizon, winning the dual meets was not their main concern. But both the No. 2 women’s team and No. 4 men’s team couldn’t help but come away victorious.

On Friday afternoon, the women defeated Oregon State, New Mexico State and Northern Arizona in dominating fashion. They handled OSU 205-53, made easy work of the Lumberjacks 206-55 and cruised past NMSU 204-57.

“”The teams that we swam against weren’t particularly strong teams, so we were able to do some things a little bit differently,”” said head coach Frank Busch. “”It’s great to get back in the water.””

Senior Annie Chandler and early-December’s Collegiate Swimmer of the Week Alyssa Anderson both snatched up a pair of victories. Chandler was victorious in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, while Anderson won the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly.

Freshman Monica Drake won her first event as a Wildcat, taking home the 500-yard freestyle race in 5:06.94. The team showed why they are the second-ranked team in the nation, winning all 14 events.

“”In general, I like where we are going and what people are doing,”” Busch said. “”I think we’re in a good spot.””

The UA men were almost as dominant the next morning against Southern Methodist University, defeating the Mustangs 164-107.

Senior Jean Basson and sophomores A.J. Tipton and Cory Chitwood all won two events that day. Basson, who is currently number one in the country in the 500-yard freestyle, continued to dominate the event, taking home the 500-yard and 100-yard freestyle events.

Chitwood, who is top-three in the country in both backstroke events, won the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, while taking second in the 200-yard individual medley.

Senior Jordan Smith was another standout for the men, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 20.65 seconds. Smith currently ranks fourth in the country in the event. “”I’m really happy with the way that I’m swimming right now,”” Smith said. “”I think it’s a good sign of things to come this season.””

Whether they were exhausted or not, both teams showed why they are amongst the nation’s best with their solid performances this weekend.

The implications of the dual meets were clearly miniscule, but the racing experience amidst a bit of adversity in the form of strenuous training will go a long way for the Wildcats.

“”We really try to let everybody know that it’s just about racing,”” Smith said. “”Frank (Busch) just talked to us about it: No matter how you feel, you just get that experience racing — trying to get your hand on that wall no matter what.””

Diving Results

The UA women’s dive team took to the springboard on Friday against NAU. Sophomore Ainsley Oliver was the top diver for the Wildcats, finishing runner-up in both the three-meter and one-meter events. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native posted scores of 288.90 and 324.98, respectively. Freshman Ashley Herrera finished fourth in the one-meter and fifth in the three-meter.

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