April 7, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona swimmers Alyssa Anderson, Margo Geer and Cory Chitwood were all named their respective classes’ Athlete of the Year for the University of Arizona athletic department, announced Wednesday evening at the C.A.T.S. Senior Awards Banquet.
Anderson and Chitwood each won for the junior class award while Geer was chosen as the top women’s freshman athlete. Additionally, the women’s swimming and diving team won the Team Academic Champion award with the highest grade-point average of any UA team at 3.322.
Anderson earned All-America honors this season in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 400 freestyle relay and 800 freestyle relay. She set a school record in the 500 free with a third-place finish of 4:34.34, topping Emily Mason’s previous mark of 4:37.11. In the 200 butterfly, Anderson was third in the country with a time of 1:53.79. One event after the 200 fly, Anderson anchored the 400 freestyle relay for the Wildcats, splitting a 48.0 to lead the team to a fourth-place finish in the race at 3:12.51 and fifth-place standing overall.
At the men’s NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, the team captain Chitwood won his second-consecutive NCAA individual national championship in the 200 backstroke, posting the sixth-fastest time ever in the event with a 1:38.84. Along with the 200 backstroke, Chitwood earned All-America honors in five events as he was the national runner-up in the 200 individual medley and top eight in the 100 backstroke, 800 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay to lead Arizona to a top-four finish overall. Last season, Chitwood garnered UA’s sophomore of the year award.
Geer was named the Female Freshman Student-Athlete of the Year. Geer was an All-American in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay at this season’s NCAA Championships in her first season swimming at Arizona. She was third individually in both the 50 and 100 free and now ranks second on Arizona’s school record list in those events. The UA 200 free relay team which placed runner-up was comprised of all freshmen with Kait Flederbach, Grace Finnegan and Aubrey Peacock joining Geer to make up the first-year quartet.
The swimming and diving team just wrapped its collegiate season but is still training for various individual meets including respective national trials. With both the men’s and women’s teams returning just about every point scorer for the NCAA Championships, the program is as strong as ever heading into the 2011-12 season.