Cats Place Fourth at Pac-10's

Feb. 28, 2010

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – The University of Arizona swimming and diving team placed fourth overall at the Pac-10 Championships this week, held at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif.  The women posted a score of 1,223.5.  Stanford was the Pac-10 Champion with 1,489 points.

Over night four events, miler Joni Keith placed third overall in the 1650 free with a time of 16:10.03.  Keith was joined by teammate Susana Helms in the event with a 10th place finish.

In the 200 backstroke, Ana Agy, Jenny Forster and Hannah Ross all placed into the final “A” heat.  Agy was third overall with a time of 1:55.32, while Forster was sixth at 1:56.23 and Ross placed seventh with a time of 1:56.25.

Justine Schluntz was the only Wildcat swimmer to place into the final heat in the 100 freestyle.  Schluntz, joined by a pool full of Stanford and Cal swimmers, was seventh overall with a time of 48.93.

Along with the 200 back, UA also placed three swimmers into the “A” heat in the 200 breast.  Sara El Bekri turned a few heads, finishing fifth overall in 2:11.50 and ahead of teammates Annie Chandler and Chelsey Salli who were seventh and eighth, respectively.

The Cats looked to have a shot at third place, but in the 200 fly, USC proved its mettle, placing four swimmers into the final heat with Katinka Hosszu winning the race in 1:52.71.  Alyssa Anderson and Whitney Lopus both placed into the “B” heat final in the 200 fly.

In diving action in Federal Way, Wash., Ainsley Oliver qualified for her first final event of the championships.  With a sixth-place score of 233.85, Oliver was able to grasp some much needed points.  In men’s diving, Ben Grado missed making the podium in consecutive nights, turning in a fifth-place score of 378.15.  Also qualifying for the final hat with Grado were Andres Guerra and Matt McCahill who were seventh and eighth, respectively. 

To close the championships, the Arizona 400 free relay team of Schluntz, Andrea Boritzke, Leo Vorster and Monica Drake finished fourth with a time of 3:16.96 behind Stanford, Cal and USC.

The Arizona women will now turn their attention to tapering for the NCAA Championship meet while the UA men’s swimming team is set for its own men’s Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach beginning on Wednesday.


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