The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

55° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women’s swim gunning for first national title

    Arizonas Whitney Myers swims the 200-yard individual medley during a Jan. 12 meet against Stanford at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, which the Wildcats lost 143-94. Myers and her teammates will participate in the NCAA Championships today through Saturday in Minneapolis, having finished third the past three seasons but never having taken home the national title.
    Arizona’s Whitney Myers swims the 200-yard individual medley during a Jan. 12 meet against Stanford at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, which the Wildcats lost 143-94. Myers and her teammates will participate in the NCAA Championships today through Saturday in Minneapolis, having finished third the past three seasons but never having taken home the national title.

    The No. 4 Arizona women’s swimming team will have the chance to win its fourth consecutive third-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships today through Saturday.

    Or it could win its first ever NCAA title.

    It’s safe to say the women want the trophy. After winning its second-straight Pac-10 title Feb. 17 – only the third in UA women’s swimming history – the team has the momentum to obtain its goal of winning the championship in Minneapolis for the first time.

    “”I think Pac-10s was a great experience for us,”” said junior Lacey Nymeyer. “”We learned from what we did. We learned from our mistake, and we kinda put more experience under our belt.””

    In terms of mistakes, the women sat in eighth place after the first night of finals at the Pac-10 Championships because of a disqualification of one of their relay teams. The Wildcats ultimately rebounded and jumped seven slots to take the title.

    Nymeyer said she doesn’t foresee another mishap like that.

    Arizona will send 19 qualifiers – the largest number the team has ever sent to the championships – including 10 returning swimmers from last year’s squad.

    The biggest difference in this year’s team is its tight-knit qualities, Nymeyer said.

    “”One of our biggest strengths is, which (has) been our strength all year, is how close we are,”” she said. “”So the team camaraderie with us, you know, we’re all such great friends.

    “”We’re just, we’re gonna have fun, and we’re gonna swim fast and we’re gonna support each other and I think that’s the best thing that we can do.””

    Of the 19 women making the trip, seven are freshmen and eight are sophomores, leaving Nymeyer, senior and national champion Whitney Myers and juniors Brandy Collins and Jacquelyn Craft the only upperclassmen.

    Only one of the sophomores, Justine Schluntz, hasn’t seen action at this meet, as the others went to the meet their freshman year.

    But even though the freshmen may be in shock during their first days in Minnesota, Nymeyer said the women should get past their initial anxiety.

    “”I definitely think they’re a little nervous, but I have total faith that they’re going to rise to the challenge,”” Nymeyer said. “”And I think they just need the opportunity to strut their stuff and show the nation what they’re made of.””

    The team has been in Minneapolis since Monday, and Nymeyer said it’s exciting to watch the days progress in anticipation for today’s preliminary and final events.

    “”Every time we go to the pool there’s more and more teams there, more and more colors and more and more people, but I think that’s good,”” she said. “”(You) see the crowd, see the atmosphere, and you just get used to the intensity of it and realize it’s just another swim meet and just another time for us to get on the blocks and race, and that’s just how we’re kinda looking at it.””

    As far as where the women will finish, Nymeyer said they have as good a chance as any other team.

    “”We’ve trained hard,”” she said, “”and we’ve prepared ourselves to swim the fastest we’ve ever swam before, and like (UA head coach) Frank (Busch) said many times, it’s going to take our best effort and whatever team puts forth the most amount of points wins.

    “”That’s what we’re going to strive for. We’re going to race people, we’re going to fight hard, just as hard as the other teams.

    “”And if our best is the best in the nation, then that’s awesome, but it’s going to be our best effort for sure.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search