Cats look to defend NCAA title
March 17, 2009
2008-09 Postseason Quick Facts
No. 4 – University of Arizona
2008-09 Dual Meet Record: 8-3
2008-09 Conference Record: 5-2
2009 Conference Finish: 2nd
2009 Conference Champions: 3 individuals/2 relays
2008 NCAA Finish: 1st
Returning NCAA Champions: 1 individual/5 relays
Lara Jackson – 50 free
*Note – Lacey Nymeyer graduated in 2008, all other relay members are active
Returning 2008 All-Americans:
-Ana Agy – 100 back, 100 fly, 400 medley relay
-Taylor Baughman – 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay
-Annie Chandler – 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay
-Hailey DeGolia – 100 back, 100 fly, 200 IM, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay
-Caitlin Iversen – 200 back
-Lara Jackson – 50 free, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 free relay
-Justine Schluntz – 100 back, 800 free relay
-Anna Turner – 50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 free relay
-Leone Vorster – 800 free relay
Repeat of 2008?
The 2008 season turned magical for Frank Busch and the Arizona swimming and diving program once they arrived for NCAA’s in Columbus, Ohio. After 19 years and multiple top-10 finishes, the Arizona women finally got over the hump and won the national championship that had eluded them in previous seasons. Of the many key performances for Arizona, the relays are what propelled them to their first national title. Through five events last season, Arizona built a lead of 111 points – a lead they would not relinquish over the course of the Championships.
Record Breaking Agy
Ana Agy has put a stranglehold on the Arizona women’s backstroke competition’s this season. The Park City, Utah native set new school records in the 100 and 200 backstroke during the Texas Invite, in the process breaking Beth Botsford’s time that stood for eight years. Agy also showed she is not limited to just the backstroke, turning in one of the fastest times in the country in the 100 fly at 51.74.
Individual Medley Ace
Jenny Forster is a formidable foe in the Individual Medley. The junior currently holds Arizona’s top times this season in both the 200 and 400 IM with times of 1:55.27 and 4:07.20. Her mark in the 400 IM, set at the Texas Invite, garnered an NCAA automatic qualifying berth, while her time of 1:55.27 at the Pac-10 Championships in Federal Way, Wash. also earned her an NCAA auto time.
Top Sports Figure of 2008
Head Coach Frank Busch was recognized as the Arizona Daily Star’s top sports figure of 2008. Last season Busch won his first two NCAA titles in the span of a week, served as an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic swimming team, named men’s and women’s NCAA and Pac-10 Coach of the Year and was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Auburn-Transfer Julie Stupp has made a seamless transition to UA and is proving to be a dynamic competitor. Stupp is among the women’s top performers in the 100 and 200 breast, 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM. Stupp has an NCAA automatic time in the 200 breast as well as NCAA consideration times in the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
They Call Her LJ
Lara Jackson put on quite a performance during the first day of the Texas Invitational in December. The El Paso, Texas native began the day by swimming the first leg of the women’s 200 free relay in which Arizona placed first and turned in an “A” cut time of 1:27.72. Next Jackson took to the 100 fly, setting a new school record, establishing an “A” cut time and finishing first. But LJ would save her best for last in the women’s 50 free, setting a new American and NCAA record and blowing away the competition with a time of 21.33. Not a bad day at all.
Annie Chandler has once again established herself as one of the top swimmers in the breaststroke in the country. The U.S. National Team member has secured two NCAA “A” cut times in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, respectively, and just missed out on breaking Amanda Beard’s school record of 59.73 in the 100 breast by five hundredth’s of a second at the Texas Invitational in December.
Depth, Depth and More Depth
It speaks to the quality of the Arizona swimming program to be able to have the type of depth the women’s team displays this season. Arizona returned nine All Americans from last season’s championship team and all but two NCAA point scorers from last year. Moreover, Arizona returns each member of the 2008 NCAA champion 200 medley relay team and only lost one member from the 200 free, 400 free, 800 free and 400 medley relay team’s.
Freshman sensation Alyssa Anderson has been impressive to say the least thus far in her collegiate career. And she isn’t picky about what race she chooses to win either, as she has won the 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free and 200 fly over the course of the year. Anderson also holds the sixth fastest time in the country in the 500 free at 4:39.54 set at the Texas Invite.
The Arizona women’s relay teams were simply automatic during the Texas Invitational, that is in terms of NCAA qualifying standards. The women competed in four of the five relays, won three of the events including the 200 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay and set NCAA automatic qualifying times in all four they competed in.