TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona men’s and women’s swimming diving team will look to continue the success they had in last season as they open up the 2013-14 campaign on Saturday in Salt Lake City against Utah. The meet will begin at 11 a.m.
On the men’s side, the Wildcats will be led by the reigning NCAA Swimmer of the year and eight-time All-American Kevin Cordes, who helped the Wildcats finish in third place at the NCAA Championships last year. The Wildcats also earned three national titles last season. Cordes finished in first place in the 100 breast and 200 breast, and broke the record for the fastest time in history. The team of Mitchell Friedemann, Cordes, Giles Smith, and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or won one more title for the men’s side in the 400 medley relay.
The women’s side will also look to start their 2013-14 season on a high note after a solid year in 2012-13. As a team, the women finished in fifth place at the NCAA Championships, and earned three individual titles. Margo Geer won a national title in both the 50 free and 100 free, while Samantha Pickens became the first Arizona woman to win a national title in diving by winning the 1m dive.
In total, the Wildcats earned numerous awards on the men’s and women’s sides. Cordes earned Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year, Pickens won the Pac-12 Women’s Diver of the Year, and Rafael Quintero was the Pac-12 Men’s Diving Newcomer of the Year. The women had eight swimmers and divers earn 33 All-American honors, and the men had 12 swimmers and divers earn 36 All-American honors, giving the Wildcats 20 athletes earning 69 All-American honors.
For Utah, the women competed against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. on Oct. 11. The Utes earned a victory over the Beavers with a score of 165-95. Tracie Swartz won the 100 back (56.42) and the 100 free (52.02), and Petra Soininen earned victories in the 100 fly (56.20) and the 200 fly (2:03.22). In the relays, the team of Swartz, Nicole Ligeza, Soininen, and Gulianna Gigliotti finished the 200 medley relay in 1:45.11, while Swartz, Jenna Griffith, Gigliotti and Ligeza swam the 200 free relay in 1:37.53.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.