Arizona Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Teams Open Season with Exhibition

Nov. 1, 2002

The University of Arizona men's and women's swimming and diving teams began their season this afternoon in a four team exhibition meet. The Wildcats faced off against Wisconsin, Arizona State and the Mexican National Team in six different events. In the non scoring events, the women's squad appeared to be in mid season form. Out of the six events, the women won four including the 200y medley relay, the 100y backstroke, the 100y breaststroke and the 100y butterfly. The event took place at the Hillenbrand aquatic center on the University of Arizona campus.

The Arizona men placed three divers in the top 5. Junior Josh Anderson led the way with a third place finish on the one meter with a score of 270.60. Sophomore Alex Vollelunga placed fourth by scoring 252.65 and in fifth was senior captain Scott Koening (246.20 points).

In the pool for the Wildcat men, junior Juan Veloz placed second in the 400y IM when he touched the wall in 3:58.88. Junior All-American Greg Owen appeared to be in mid season form as he finished second in the 100y breast (57.57). The freshman duo of Zack Zucker and Dave Rollins swam well in their first collegiate meets. Rollins placed fifth in the 100y back with a time of 51.69. Zucker won his heat and finished fifth overall in the 100y breast in the time of 58.72.

The Arizona women's divers excelled in the compeititon on the three meter springboard. Senior Jennifer Hess was victorious in the three meter when she scored 300.50 points. Immediately following Hess was junior All-American Claire Febvay. Febvay had an excellent day, which culminated in her garnering 283.65 points on the three meter.

The most impressive squad of the day was the Arizona women's swimming team. In addition to winning four out of six events, the Cats had the top three finishers in two different events. Beth Botsford, Jessica Wagner, Lisa Pursley and Marshi Smith started the day off in a superb fashion with a victory in the 200y medley relay (1:42.24). Then, the Wildcat women swept the top three positions in the 100y fly event. Leading the way was freshman Lisa Pursley, as she touched the wall in 55.94. Second and third place belonged to seniors Lindsey Highstrom and April Beltran who finished in times of 57.26 and 57.30, respectively. In the 100y back, former NCAA Champion Beth Botsford defeated the rest of the competition in a time of 54.46, more than two seconds faster than any other swimmer. Finally, junior All-American Jessica Wagner outlasted Agnes Kovacs from Arizona State to win the 100y breast when she touched the wall in 1:02.17.

The meet resumes tomorrow with official competition at 11 a.m at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center with the Wildcat women's swimming and diving teams taking on Wisconsin, Arizona State and the Mexican National Team. Then, at roughly 1 p.m, the men's teams take to the water to battle Auburn, Wisconsin and the Mexican National Team.

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