Women, Divers head to Pac 10 Championships
Feb. 23, 2009
To follow events live: http://results.teamunify.com/pnws2/
What: 2009 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Swimming Championships hosted by the University of Washington.
Where: Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way, Wash.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 25 - Saturday, Feb. 28.
Tickets: All tickets will be available at the King County Aquatic Center on the day of the event only. *Admission is FREE on Wednesday, Feb. 25. All Session Pass: Adult: $25.00, Student with ID/Senior $15.00 One Day Pass: Adult: $10.00, Student with ID/Senior: $6.00
Arizona Women’s Swimming Notes
Leader of the Pac
Entering the Pac-10 championships, defending national champ Arizona leads the Pac-10 in top times posted through the 19 swimming events. Arizona holds the top conference mark in the 50, 100 and 500 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle relay and 200 and 400 medley relays.
The Arizona women’s swim team has won the Pac-10 championship the last three consecutive seasons and look to have the talent and depth to pull off a fourth. The women graduated just two NCAA point scorers from last year’s championship run, Lacy Nymeyer and Jacquelyn Craft, and have multiple swimmers in the top-10 in each event. Last season, the women scored 1,501 points in route to the trifecta.
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 1:56.68 and 4:07.20. Her mark in the 400 IM, set at the Texas Invite, garnered an NCAA Automatic Qualifying berth.
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.
They Call Her LJ
Lara Jackson put on quite a performance during the first day of the Texas Invitational. 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.
Arizona junior Justine Schluntz has posted the fastest time in the 100 freestyle in the Pac-10 with a 47.74 performance at the Texas Invite. Also Schluntz has the third fastest time in the 200 freestyle with a 1:44.00 showing. If Arizona is to repeat as champions, Schluntz is sure to be an integral member of the action.
The 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.
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 and was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
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 fifth fastest time in the country in the 500 free at 4:39.54 set at the Texas Invite.
Arizona Diving Notes
Ben Grado leads the Arizona divers heading into Pac-10 competition. The Pac-10 Freshman newcomer of the year last season has found success in many dual meets against conference foes including most recently Arizona State, California and Stanford. It will be telling to see how Grado’s recent experience at the USA selection camp in Columbus, Ohio helps his performance over the next month.
Newcomer Ainsley Oliver already has proven she is not only capable but arguably the Wildcats’ top female diver. She routinely was among the top competitors in scoring and last weekend versus Arizona State won the one-meter event with a score of 268.73.
Andy Guerra and Matt McCahill have given Arizona the type of much needed depth to build a top diving team. The freshmen provide a solid core, along with Grado, that has the ability to reign in the Pac-10 for years to come. Against Washington and Air Force, Guerra won the one-meter event with a score of 298.35.