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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    W-swim heads to Washington to defend Pac-10 title

    UA senior Julie Stupp swims the butterfly during a 178-128 win over California on Jan. 23 at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The Arizona womens swim and dive team will compete in the Pacific 10 Conference Championships today through Saturday in Seattle.
    UA senior Julie Stupp swims the butterfly during a 178-128 win over California on Jan. 23 at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The Arizona women’s swim and dive team will compete in the Pacific 10 Conference Championships today through Saturday in Seattle.

    The cold and rainy Pacific Northwest is to swimmers as protons are to electrons.

    The No. 4 Arizona women’s swim and dive team will compete today through Saturday in Federal Way, Wash., for the Pacific 10 Conference Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center, looking for its fourth conference title in a row.

    And yes, the swimming facility is indoors. In fact, the pool was created for the 1990 Goodwill Games and can seat up to 2,500 spectators. The pool has also been used for Olympic trials and last year’s men’s NCAA Championship.

    UA head coach Frank Busch said he is not worried about his team coming in overly confident from a trifecta of recent wins or being too hyped up.

    “”Pretty much, I try to stay out of their way,”” Busch said, adding that he didn’t need to provide any extra motivation for his team. “”You can have your athletes too wound up, and I think they know exactly what they need to do and they’re looking forward to the challenge.

    “”I don’t think it is (hard to repeat) for them,”” he added. “”Every year presents some sort of a new challenge, something different. I think they kind of looked at it from the standpoint of, ‘Hey, this is fun. We’ve won three, why not four?'””

    Against Pac-10 foes in dual meets, the Wildcats found enough motivation for themselves. An early season loss to USC and a more recent close defeat at the hands of Stanford could play heavily in Arizona’s favor.

    “”All those schools definitely are motivation for the end of the season,”” said senior Anna Turner. “”We’re just excited to race good teams, fast swimmers and have a good rest of our season.””

    The Pac-10 may be one of the deepest and most talented conferences in the country, but the Wildcats have the depth at almost every event to fulfill Turner’s expectations of finishing strong.

    Senior Lara Jackson currently holds the top times in the nation for both the 50-yard freestyle and 100y butterfly. Likewise, Stanford’s Julia Smit holds top times nationally in the 200y individual medley and 400y

    individual medley, according to collegeswimming.com.

    Rebecca Soni of USC also has the top NCAA time of 2:07.69 in the 200y breaststroke.

    Team-wise, Stanford is ranked No. 2 in the nation with Arizona coming in at No. 4 and California at No. 8.

    USC, UCLA and Washington also fall into the top 25. The Wildcats won last year’s meet in a narrow 1,501 to 1,472 victory over runner-up Standford while California came in third.

    For another Pac-10 triumph and looking to hit some of their best times of the season, Busch said he hopes Arizona’s final times are comparable to those in December’s Texas Invite, the meet where the majority of Arizona’s NCAA qualifying times were recorded.

    To meet that goal, Turner said the women ended weight room sessions six days ago and the veterans will be wearing old full-length suits to go fast, but leaving more rest and fresh suits for the NCAA championships in a few weeks.

    In that same respect, the less experienced swimmers will shave and be more tapered in preparation for what will serve as their last meet assuming they don’t qualify this week.

    And although most of the swimmers that have already qualified for NCAAs won’t be shaving for Pac-10s, they won’t use that as an excuse to lose.

    “”We just go out there and try to race as hard as possible,”” Turner said. “”(We’re) ready to go, excited to race, excited to just get the championship season started.””

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