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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Weeekend Club Roundup

    Men’s water polo

    The Arizona men’s club water polo team continued its march to the postseason, winning the Southwest Division Championship this weekend and gaining a berth in the National Collegiate Club Championships.

    Sweeping the tournament, the team finished the regular season undefeated in its division. Team president Alex Kane wasn’t shy about giving his team credit – he called its performance “”the most dominating performance the Southwest division has ever seen.””

    Saturday’s portion of the tournament was held at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, something of a water polo renaissance for the facility, which hasn’t seen a game since the varsity program was discontinued.

    Kane said playing in the varsity pool was one of the highlights of the tournament.

    “”It’s an awesome experience,”” he said.

    As for the games themselves, it was all Arizona, all the time. The men’s A-team and B-team placed first and second, respectively. On Saturday, the A-team won by forfeit over NAU and beat New Mexico 19-5.

    The B-team beat ASU 9-6 on Saturday, in a game the Wildcats actually had to win twice. Having seemingly sewn up a victory, a dispute over a wrongly ejected player resulted in the last three minutes having to be re-played. The game was particularly important to the Sun Devils, who were still battling for a spot in the national championships.

    More drama awaited the B-team later that night against New Mexico, whom Arizona beat 12-11 in double overtime, capping the longest game of the B-team’s season.

    The stage was set for an Arizona vs. Arizona championship game, but the B-team opted to forfeit to the varsity squad. The teams still staged an exhibition match for assembled fans.

    Ordinarily, a first- and second-place finish for teams in the division championship assures two berths at Nationals. But because Arizona will host Nationals, and is therefore guaranteed a bid, Collegiate Water Polo Association rules state that the host team is only allowed one berth.

    “”I guess they’re not really used to having two teams from the same institution placing one-two,”” Kane said. “”I don’t think this has ever really come up. We’ve stepped into uncharted boundaries.””

    Cycling

    Sophomore Chloe Forsman and the Arizona club cycling team had a banner weekend among the mud and muck of North Carolina at the 2007 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships.

    Forsman successfully defended her 2006 cross country title and also won the Omnium National Championship. The Omnium title is awarded to the athlete with the highest combined scores from four different mountain biking disciplines – cross country, downhill, short track and dual slalom.

    Dual slalom is a head-to-head race down a man-made course, usually with grated turns. The course frequently has man-made obstacles such as jumps or berms.

    The five-person team rolled into Banner Elk, N.C., on Thursday afternoon, and the rainy conditions made for a rocky, slippery weekend of competition – which meant much discussion about mud, tires and bike modifications.

    Despite the possibility of climate shock moving from the sunny Southwest to the more sodden Southeast, Arizona coach Travis Woodruff felt the team performed well.

    “”These Wildcats performed well in the muddy conditions,”” Woodruff said. “”Coming from the dry conditions of Tucson, this was a big success.””

    Forsman had the biggest weekend, winning the cross country race by over a minute. Forsman also finished 10th in the dual slalom, second in the short-track event and 26th in the downhill. She was the only Arizona athlete to compete for the Omnium award.

    Other high finishers for the Wildcats included mechanical engineering doctoral student Kyle Colavito, who placed 17th in the men’s cross country race, and civil engineering graduate student Evan Hyde, who placed 14th in the short-track race.

    As a team, Arizona finished seventh overall in a field of 38, with a combined score of 346 points.

    Men’s rugby

    The Arizona men’s club rugby team received its first loss of the season Sunday, falling 27-15 to Colorado (5-1).

    “”It was a great college rugby match,”” said Arizona coach Dave Sitton. “”We knew that the Buffaloes were strong, and they were in midseason. We played hard, did not falter in fitness and have a greater understanding of the skills we need to improve.””

    With kickoff temperatures in the low-50s, the Wildcats (1-1) had an opportunity to experience World Series weather. The game also featured a matchup of All-American teammates Jordan Kohn of Arizona and Max DeAchaval of Colorado.

    The Junior Varsity team shut out Colorado 22-0 in the second part of the doubleheader.

    As part of their trip, the Wildcats made their regular stop Friday to visit Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Arizona’s Freshman of the Year Award is named after Lauren Townsend, one of the 14 students and faculty killed in the 1998 school shootings. Townsend was the step-daughter of Arizona alumnnus and former Wildcat rugby player Bruce Beck, a teammate of Sitton during the 1970s.

    This was Arizona’s fourth trip to Columbine, as it is one of the few organizations allowed to tour the school. Four recipients of the award greeted Beck and Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis.

    – Alex Dalenberg

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