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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Swim finishes 3rd at NCAAs

    When Albert Subirats came back to Tucson from Minneapolis today, he had not only a third-place trophy to share with his teammates, but also one NCAA relay and two individual titles, as well as five new school records.

    Despite Subirats’ laurels, the No. 5 Arizona men’s swimming team (6-3, 3-2 Pacific 10 Conference) couldn’t fend off No. 3 Auburn, which won its fifth consecutive title Saturday night. Arizona came in third place.

    UA head coach Frank Busch could only describe Subirats’ performances as “”amazing,”” emphasizing the difficulty of winning two individual events in one day.

    “”Well, first of all, he set the record and then in his second event, he swam the second-best time in history,”” Busch said. “”So he wasn’t far off from breaking two NCAA records on the second day.””

    On Friday, Subirats became an NCAA champion in the 100-yard backstroke and butterfly events after being a part of the victorious 200y freestyle relay team with senior Adam Ritter, junior Darian Townsend and sophomore Nicolas Nilo the night before.

    Also claiming NCAA titles for the Wildcats were Townsend in the 200y freestyle and Ritter in the 200y individual medley.

    “”You hope that you’re going to see stuff like this,”” Busch said of the team’s performances, “”but when guys just come in and they drop a tremendous amount of time and they do it at the biggest stage, that’s a tremendous accomplishment, so I feel really good about what they did and how they did it.””

    After two days of competition, the Wildcats sat in second place while Auburn distanced itself from the rest of the pack. But with a relay

    disqualification for an early take off, the team slipped into third with 397 points, finishing only 26 points behind Pac-10 rival No. 2 Stanford.

    “”That’s a lot of points,”” Busch said of the disqualification. “”But a lot of times I think I tell the guys, ‘All right, a mistake was made what do we do? What’s our character? What happens when adversary hits our team? How do we, how does that effect us?’

    “”And we have to go on, so we moved on well.””

    He added that the mishap could have caused the team’s drop to third.

    “”The disqualification was what really took us out of second place, but you live and die as a team,”” Busch said.

    Ultimately, the UA team of 11 men who competed set seven new school records, including two NCAA records.

    For a team that looks strikingly different from last year’s team – with 15 underclassmen – Busch said he was not anticipating the same results as the previous year, when the men took home the second-place trophy.

    “”Last year’s team was just loaded with so many tremendous athletes,”” he said. “”And trying to replace those four seniors with freshmen and a transfer, that says a lot about our team and how good we are and how good we’re going to be and that’s what we accomplished this year.

    “”I’m really surprised at how well they did.””

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