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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“W-swim, dive off to Pac-10s”

The season-long goal for the Arizona women’s swim and dive team has been to win the national championship. But before they can turn their attention to those aspirations, they aim to be crowned Pacific 10 Conference champions for the fourth time in five years.

The No. 4 women will compete at the Pac-10 championships in Long Beach, Calif., from Wednesday to Saturday. The women will be returning to California for the first time since they were swept at a dual meet with Stanford and Cal in January. Revenge is certainly on their minds, but the real goal is to use this week as preparation for the national championships next month.

“”The team’s focus is always on NCAAs,”” said senior Annie Chandler. “”So our focus is on racking up national championship qualifiers and using the competitive environment as practice for the stiff competition.””

While the team has made many of its qualifications for nationals, some of the swimmers still have work to do this week.

“”We have quite a few girls gunning for best times and NCAA cuts at this meet,”” Chandler said, who will be among the swimmers trying to make their cuts.

The team has already started to rest for nationals, and will rest in earnest after the Pac-10s. In preparation for nationals, the team will start to focus more on swimming than training. They will no longer be running, lifting or doing morning workouts. 

“”We will be resting up for some intensive racing,”” Chandler said. “”The coaches have the taper (resting) process down to a T, so we just have to trust the program and success usually follows.”” 

Success for this team means only one thing: Winning a national championship.

The women have been overshadowed this season by the No. 3 UA men’s team, but they have been improving as the season has progressed. Since being swept by Stanford and Cal, the UA women have defeated a top-5 program in Texas and finished the dual meet season with an 8-2 record.

This week marks the final Pac-10 championships for the seniors and the beginning of the end of their swimming careers at UA. That reality is starting to sink in.

“”My last time in the weight room was last week and that was bizarre, but I have a feeling that I’ll start to feel it this week,”” Chandler said.

A third Pac-10 championship and a national championship in the next two months would put this senior class up with the greatest the school has ever seen. The seniors are beginning to realize their time is almost up, but they also know that there is work left do. 

“”It would be such an incredible way to end my senior year,”” said senior Ana Agy. “”It has been amazing to be a part of this group of women, and I would love to leave them with another title.””

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