Wildcats Win Season Opener

Nov. 6, 2009

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TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona swimming and diving team got its 2009-10 season underway today with a home dual meet against Wisconsin and UNLV.  Several Wildcats posted fast times and multiple wins as the men's team beat Wisconsin 190-103 and UNLV, 161-119 while the women were slightly more dominant, winning 238-60 over UNLV and 178-122 over Wisconsin.


'I was pleased with the performance of our team today,' said head coach Frank Busch.  'I feel our team will continue to improve as we prepare for the Texas Invite next month.'


Both Arizona 200 medley relay teams got off on the right foot as senior Justine Schluntz anchored the final leg to beat out Wisconsin while senior Jordan Smith touched first for the Arizona men over UNLV.


Cory Chitwood, swimming in his first competition since his freshman year after undergoing shoulder surgery and missing all of 2008-09, won both the individual events he swam in.  The Union, Ky. native first won the 100 backstroke with a time of 49.40. He then came back and won the 200 backstroke in 1:47.90.


Utah-transfer Whitney Lopus had an excellent Wildcat debut as she won the 100 butterfly in 55.29 and the 200 butterfly in 2:02.63.  The Scottsdale product also finished runner-up to teammate Jenny Forster in the 200 I.M. with a time of 2:06.65.


Smith, swimming in individual events, was victorious in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events posting times of 20.42 in the 50 and 45.39 in the 100 free.  Finishing up the day, Smith led off Arizona's final win in the 200 free relay with a split of 20.65.  The Wildcats were forced to exhibition the 200 free relay however due to the number of points it already gained. 


In Smith's 50 free win, there was a bit of confusion during heat two as the starters gun sounded signaling a false start. Newcomers Nick Popov and Craig Jordens however did not hear the gun or see the other swimmers stop and continued to swim a full 50 yards before having to reset and start again.


Freshman Carl Mickelson had perhaps one of the more eye-opening afternoons, winning both the men's 100 and 200 breast. He won the 100 breast with a time of 55.81, outpacing veteran Marcus Titus in the process.  In the 200 breast, Mickelson recorded a time of 2:04.53 while Titus, Clark Burckle and Jack Brown all swam the race as an exhibition.


In the diving well, Ben Grado won both the men's one-meter and three-meter competitions with scores of 344.60 and 397.40, respectively.  Ainsley Oliver finished runner-up in the one-meter and three-meter events on the women's side with scores of 240.70 and 279.55.


Ana Agy finished second in the 100 backstroke, good for a B cut time of 54.80, while fellow senior Annie Chandler also had a B cut time in the 100 breaststroke, winning the race in 1:02.31.


Up next for Arizona is a dual meet with USC on Friday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.


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