Todays Wildcat performance was highlighted by the South African members of the UA squad, junior Ryk Neethling and freshman Roland Schoeman. Neethling won the fifth national title of his career, as he finished first in the 500-yard free (4:13.80). The championship nearly mirrored Neethlings performance from a year ago, as he won with a time of 4:13.42, in 1998. Also in the finals of the 500 free was junior Nat Lewis who placed seventh (4:18.86) and picked up 12 points for the Cats.
After joining the Arizona squad in early January, Schoeman has proved that he is the future of the UA sprint freestyle corps. While swimming the leadoff 50 yards of the 200 free relay, Schoeman set a new school record after clocking a 19.60. The time topped Mike McQuittys 1993 time of 19.60, but Schoeman was far from done. That record stood for about 35 minutes, as in the morning prelims of the 50 free, Schoeman qualified for the finals with a 19.52. When the evening finals arrived Schoeman placed third overall and topped both of the previous marks by swimming a 19.49.
In the finals of the 200 free relay, the Wildcat squad of Schoeman, junior Coley Stickels, junior Rob Henikman and junior Jay Schryver set the second school record of the day by swimming a 1:18.36, good enough for a fourth place finish. The time barely nipped the 1:18.37 that was set at the 1993 NCAAs, that were also held at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.
The third and final Arizona record came in the finals of the 400 medley relay. Junior Matt Allen, Henikman, Schoeman and Stickels clocked a 3:12.04, to place sixth overall. The time topped the time of 3:13.01, that was also set at the 1993 NCAAs.
Sophomore Ben Anderson qualified for the consolation finals in the 200 IM and finished 15th overall, with a time of 1:48.44.
In 1-Meter diving sophomore Arno Bergstrom missed out on qualifying for the evening finals session, but finished 32nd overall, with a score of 385.45.
Day two of the 1999 NCAA Mens Swimming and Diving Championships continues with the preliminaries beginning at 12 noon (EST) and championship finals slated for 7:00 p.m. (EST).