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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Final tune-up for UA swim and dive

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Susana Helms

Swim meet between the Arizona Wildcats, UNLV Running Rebels, and the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat Susana Helms Swim meet between the Arizona Wildcats, UNLV Running Rebels, and the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

If the destination is the early-December Texas Invitational, the final pit stop for the UA swim and dive team is the dual meet this weekend against USC and UCLA.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will face USC on Friday, while only the women will take on UCLA on Sunday. Both squads have to be at the top of their game for the Texas Invitational in three weeks and success at this weekend’s meet is the first step toward achieving that goal.

“”If you expect to get to the NCAAs you need to have your game up higher for this particular meet,”” said head coach Frank Busch. “”This is the last tune-up to be ready to make your standards in three weeks.””

Busch still thinks the team needs to “”step it up quite a bit,”” but they certainly had some encouraging performances that they need to build off of in last weekend’s meet against University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Wisconsin.

While their senior-loaded roster was most advertised, freshman Carl Mickelson took the spotlight in his first collegiate swim, winning both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. Mickelson, like the rest of the team, wants to take that momentum from last weekend into this weekend.

“”I’d like to be pretty close to where I was last week,”” Mickelson said. “”I don’t want it to be just a one-time thing. I definitely hope to do the same thing against a team that we need to score points against.””

The Wildcats will certainly need all of the points they can get against the two California schools.

“”This will be a very competitive meet,”” Busch said. “”These teams are good, really good.””

With so many senior leaders in place, the team should have no problem staying motivated this weekend.

“”This is a really important meet,”” said senior Justine Schluntz. “”We are starting to rest and we just want to keep up with the direction we’re going.””

The coaching staff and athletes know the importance of the next couple of weeks. Now it comes down to going out and taking advantage of the opportunities at hand.

“”I want to see everybody that’s given the opportunity, to take advantage of it,”” Busch said. “”When you’re in a conference meet against a good team, it’s important that you put forth the kind of swim that you’re capable of.””

If the swimmers stay focused, and take full advantage of their opportunities, they should see ample success this Friday and Saturday.

“”I think we’re in a good place,”” Busch said. “”These are two good teams that have very high expectations.””

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