Wildcat Men Fall 160-64 but Ferns Wins Three Events in Debut
Jan. 24, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz. - Paced by two victories apiece from Beth Botsford, Jessica Hayes, Emily Mason and Claire Febvay, the tenth-ranked Arizona Women's Swimming and Diving team knocked off the fourth-ranked Stanford Cardinal 166.5-132.5, on Friday. In total, the Wildcat women garnered victories in 10 out of a possible 15 events, including the two crucial relay events that began and concluded Friday's meet. All of today's events took place from the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center on the University of Arizona Campus.
Elsewhere, the Wildcat men's squad, while undoubtedly bolstered by three new swimmers, was unable to overcome the top-ranked Stanford men's dominance in the breast, IM and relay events. The Cardinal outscored the Wildcats 160-64 before the last few events were made to be exhibitions.
One of the bright spots in today's competition for the Cats was spring semester acquisition Lyndon Ferns, who in his first collegiate meet performed brilliantly en route to victories in three events; the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly. Ferns posted times of 20.61, 45.25, and 49.32, respectively.
On the women's side, the All-American trio of Beth Botsford, Jessica Hayes and Emily Mason were instrumental in Friday's victory. In addition to winning a total of six events individually, both Hayes and Botsford helmed the victorious 200 free and medley relay squads.
Botsford won the 100y back in the time of 54.80, an NCAA automatic qualifying time, as well as the 200y back when she touched the wall in 1:58.27.
Hayes continued to show her prowess in the freestyle events, as she claimed victory in both the 100y and 200y with times of 50.94 and 1:49.59, respectively. Hayes also swam the opening leg of the 200y free relay.
Finally, Emily Mason's progression and improvement during the course of this season came to a head with her two victories on Friday. Mason obliterated her competition in the 1000y free when she won the event in 10:09.21, a time nearly nine seconds better than the second place finisher. Later in Friday's action, Mason also came in first in the 500y free (4:56.05)
In the end, the Wildcat women found victory in four out of a possible five freestyle events, which turned out to be key in upsetting the Cardinal.
For the Wildcat men and women's divers, Friday was a coming out party of sorts for them as well. Prior to this meet, neither the men nor women's squad had both accrued victories in the same meet, Friday they claimed three. Alex Vollelunga, in easily his most impressive performance of this season to date, won the 1-meter diving event by scoring 193.45 points, which bested his nearest opponent by almost 12 points. On the women's side, All-American Claire Febvay wiped out anyone in her path en route to victories in both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards when she received scores of 173.66 and 177.10, respectively.
While the Wildcat women will certainly take Friday night to savor their enormous victory, they, as well as their male counterparts face an equally tough challenge on Saturday when Pac-10 rival California comes to Tucson. The Golden Bears' men's squad currently sits in third in the latest CSCAA poll, while the women are ranked ninth. All festivities commence at 1 pm MST from the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. As is customary, admission is free.
TOMORROW | 6:30pm PTLive