'Cats and 'Horns Ready to Duel

Jan. 26, 2010

Arizona vs. Texas         Friday, Jan. 29 and Saturday, Jan. 30     Hillenbrand Aquatic Center


This Week:  Arizona swimming and diving will hold a two-day meet against Texas this weekend at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.  The dual meet will pit two highly regarded swimming and diving programs against one another as both are looking like possible title-contenders.  Friday’s events will commence at 2 p.m. while competition on Saturday will get started at noon.


In the rankings:  On the women’s side, the Wildcats are ranked No. 2 in the country while the Longhorns are No. 4 overall.  The Longhorn men are the nation’s top-ranked team, closely followed by the UA men who are No. 3 and coming off a win over No. 2 Stanford.  With the new Collegeswimming.com poll expected to be released on Friday, it is believed to be No. 1 vs. No. 2 facing off at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center this weekend.


Last Time Out: Last weekend, both the Arizona men’s and women’s teams headed up to Northern California for the weekend to face Stanford and California in dual meets.  The Arizona men found success after trailing early against both the Cardinal and Golden Bears. The UA women couldn’t quite muster that same intensity against the highly-ranked competition on the road.  The Wildcat men now hold an unblemished record of 6-0, while the women are 7-2.


Senior Day Events: Arizona swimming and diving will honor its 17 seniors before the meet begins on Friday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.  Senior ceremonies will start roughly 15 minutes before the meet kicks off.


Who to watch this weekend: 

            -UA’s Jordan Smith vs. Texas’ Jimmy Feigen – These sprint freestylers are two of the fastest in the country and have the times to prove it.  Smith currently holds the fourth fastest time in the 50 free followed by Feigen in fifth.


            -UA’s Alyssa Anderson vs. Texas’ Kathleen Hersey – Good friends outside of the pool, Anderson and Hersey are two of Team USA’s brightest stars with each competing this past summer at the World Championships in Rome.  Look for them to face off in the 200 butterfly, a race where in 2009 each earned All-America honors.


            -The men’s 200 freestyle event – In the water will be four swimmers who competed in the Beijing Olympics as UA’s Jean Basson and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or will square off against Texas’ David Walters and Ricky Berens.  Berens, Basson and Walters were all All-Americans in the event in 2009, while Shapira Bar-Or earned honorable mention as a freshman.


            -Texas’ Karlee Bispo vs. UA’s Justine Schluntz – Each are vital team members who swim on a myriad of relays and freestyle events.  Last season, Schluntz and Bispo were both All-Americans individually in the 200 freestyle as well as the 200, 400 and 800 free relay events.


            -Texas’ Drew Livingston vs. UA’s Ben Grado – In the diving well, Livingston and Grado will face off as the top divers from each university.  Livingston is the reigning NCAA champ in the one-meter event and runner-up on platform while Grado placed 15th in the country in the one-meter and 16th on platform in 2009.


            UA Head Coach Frank Busch vs. Texas Head Coach Eddie Reese – Two of the most well-respected coaches in the sport, Busch and Reese have each served as Olympic coaches in the past.  They’ll both try to motivate their teams this weekend.


Next:  The Wildcats will get a bit of a break if you will after competing against top-flight teams on back-to-back weekends as their next dual meet won’t be until Feb. 13 when they face Arizona State in Tempe.


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