Arizona Swimming and Diving Teams Fall in Pac-10 opener to USC

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Arizona men's and women's swimming and diving squads fell to USC in theIR Pac-10 Conference opener. The 10th-ranked Wildcat women were defeated 142-101, however the Cats managed to pull out victories in three different events. Beth Botsford was victorious in the 200y backstroke, while Marshi Smith took first in the 50y free in her first Pac-10 meet. The stellar performances of these two swimmers, as well as a victory in the 400y free relay were not enough to overcome a USC women's team that won six out of the first seven events.

Likewise, The 13th-ranked Arizona men, still decimated by injuries, lost to a fifth ranked USC group 175-66, who won every event in today's competition at USC's McDonald Swim Stadium.

With their respective losses, the Arizona men's squad fell to 0-2, and the women's team evened their record at 1-1. Freshman Marshi Smith achieved the top time for the Wildcats in her victory in the 50y free (23.87). Senior All-American Beth Botsford once again appeared dominant in the 200y back. Victorious for the second meet in a row, Botsford bested her nearest competitor by nearly seven seconds when she touched the wall in 1:57.20.

Much like Smith, Botsford improved on her previous season-best time in the 200y back by almost three full seconds. Each of the times in Botsford's swims have been good enough to qualify her for the NCAA Championships.

The Wildcat women's team concluded today's meet on a spectacular note with a victory in the 400y free relay. The quartet of freshman Marshi Smith and Jenna Gresdal, sophomore All-American Jessica Hayes and senior Lindsey Highstrom clocked in at 3:29.45.

While the Arizona men were unable to pull out victories, there were notable performances from a few Wildcat swimmers. Junior All-American Juan Veloz touched the wall in the 200y fly at 1:47.40, narrowly avoiding the winner Jeff Lee by .18 seconds. In addition to nearly winning the event, Veloz claimed his best time to date.

Similar to Veloz, junior All-American Eric la Fleur placed a close second in the 100y free (45.68), and heimproved his time in this event by nearly two seconds since the last meet against Auburn and Wisconsin.

Both All-American Wildcat divers Josh Anderson and Claire Febvay fared well for themselves on Friday. Febvay placed second in the 3-meter springboard by accruing 257.50 points. Anderson also garnered second in his 3-meter dive, with 309.10 points.

The Arizona men's squad resumes competition against USC tomorrow at 1 p.m. MST at the McDonald's Swim Stadium. The women head out to Pasadena for a show down versus 13th ranked UCLA. UCLA is coming off a 151-87 trouncing of Arizona State. Swimmers will be in the water for official competition at 10 a.m. MST Saturday at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center pool.

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