Arizona Swimming and Diving Loses to Texas and SMU

Feb. 1, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas - Despite five individual victories in Saturday's competition, both Arizona swimming and diving squads fell to nationally ranked Texas and SMU. Even though they gained considerable ground, the No. 15 Wildcat men were outscored by fifth-ranked Texas 205-138 and were narrowly beaten by unranked SMU, 178-173. The sixth-ranked Wildcat women also lost two the No. 8 Longhorns 213-134 and No. 5 Mustangs, 187-165. All of Saturday's competition took place at the Jamail Swim Center, site of the 2003 NCAA Men's Championships.

Junior Juan Veloz, who has already set a meet record at the Longhorn pool in December, won two more events on Saturday. Veloz upped his total to three event victories for the weekend. On Saturday, he won both the 200y fly and 200y IM event with times of 1:48.61 and 1:53.39, respectively.

Elsewhere for the Wildcat men, sophomore Chad Ainsworth garnered victory in the 1650 free (15:43.69). In addition to besting his nearest competitor by more than five seconds, Ainsworth posted the top time of any Wildcat this season. Ainsworth surpassed teammate Chris Trimble's swim at the Texas Invitational by almost two seconds.

Arizona fared much better in Saturday's competition because they were able to not only place high in events, but actually to win them. While the Cats finished first in only two events on Friday, Saturday brought five event victories as well as numerous second place finishes.

Freshman sensation Lyndon Ferns, fresh off five event victories in his first collegiate meet last weekend, made his presence be known with third-place finishes in the 50 and 200y freestyle. In the 50y free, Ferns swam the top time for the Wildcats all season when he finished in 20.43. His time of 1:39.89 in the 200y free also ranks as second fastest all season.

For the Wildcat women, senior Beth Botsford continued to dominate every other swimmer in her water, regardless of how tough the competition. After winning her only event on Friday, Botsford claimed victory in the 200y fly (2:01.70) and 100y back (53.94) events on Saturday. Following up Botsford in the 200y fly was junior Emily Mason who clocked in at 2:02.00. Botsford missed her best time in the 100y back by only .69 seconds.

Arizona's All-American junior Jessica Wagner also posted a respectable finish in the 200y breast when she touched the wall in 1:02.80.

Junior Claire Febvay led the way for the surging Wildcat divers when she finished third in the 3-meter springboard (283.30 pts.) Junior transfer Daniela Bemme followed Febvay with a sixth place finish (277.50 pts.) and freshman Stephanie Mannella placed 12th when she accrued 214.40 pts.

Arizona swimming and diving concludes the dual meet portion of its 2002-03 schedule when they battle intra-state rival Arizona State at home on Saturday Feb. 15. All of the day's proceedings will take place from the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center and will begin at 2 pm. As usual, admission is free.

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