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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Piling it on

Arizona swimmers Cory Chitwood, Alyssa Anderson and Margo Geer all received Athlete of the Year awards for their respective classes at the UA athletic department’s C.A.T.S. Senior Awards Banquet, an esteem the Wildcat swimmers have always strived for.

“”It’s obviously a great honor to be picked as one of the best athletes in your class,”” Chitwood said. “”It’s totally fun to win awards like that and take a little piece of hardware that shows all your hard work here is paying off.””

The Senior Awards Banquet takes into account all Arizona athletic teams, not just spring sports.

While Chitwood acknowledges the notion of swim being one of the less popular college sports, he doesn’t harbor any bitter feelings.

“”Maybe it’s overlooked sometimes, I mean it’s understandable,”” Chitwood said. “”Every swimmer knows that swimming isn’t the most exciting sport. All of us love to watch football and basketball, and we know those are the sports that make the money.””

He respects the more recognized athletes, and doesn’t swim for notoriety, but for the love of the sport.  

“”Those guys are great and they deserve all the recognition that they get, and we’re definitely happy with the recognition we get. It’s definitely not the most glamorous of sports and we know that, but we love what we do.””

Chitwood and Anderson, the captains for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, respectively, both won the award for their junior class. As for Geer, she won the award for her freshman class. She is now the Female Freshman Student-Athlete of the Year.

Cory Chitwood

Just recently, at the men’s NCAA National Championships, Chitwood took home his second consecutive individual championship in the 200y backstroke.

To make his 2011 championships even sweeter, Chitwood also earned All-America honors for the 200y individual medley, 100y backstroke, 800y freestyle relay and 400y medley relay.

Chitwood also won the athletic department’s Sophomore Athlete of the Year award last year. He’s now a two time national champion and a two-time athlete of the year.

“”I mean I was hoping to win again,”” Chitwood said. “”It felt great when they called my name.””

 Alyssa Anderson

Anderson had an exceptionally strong season, reinforced by her five All-America honors at the women’s NCAA’s this year.

She received these honors in the in the 200y freestyle, 500y freestyle, 200y butterfly, 400y freestyle relay and 800y freestyle relay.

In accomplishing all of the above, she set a school record in the 500y free, taking the title away from former record holder Emily Mason. Anderson’s time of 4:34.34 in the event placed third in the NCAA’s and beat out Mason’s, 4:37.11.

Margo Geer

In her first season as a Wildcat, Geer earned six All-America honors at the NCAA’s.

Deemed one of the fastest female sprinters in the nation, Geer received honors in the 50y freestyle, 100y freestyle, 200y free relay, 400y free relay, 800y free relay and 400y medley.

Like Anderson, Geer also made a splash on the school records list. Geer now sits in the second spot for both the 50y and 100y freestyle records. At the NCAA’s, she placed third for both of the events.   

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