COLUMBUS, Ohio--Arizona's women's swimming team captured the 400 free relay in the last event and with it capped a dominating performance for?the team's first national title at the NCAA Swimming Championships here Saturday.
Arizona didn't need to?win, or even swim in, the event, but the crowning moment underscored the?Wildcats' depth and?resolve to bring home a first women's swimming?championship.
UA won by a?margin of 136 points over runnerup Auburn. The Cats had 484 points to 348 by the Tigers, followed by Stanford with 343, Texas A&M with 315 and California with 291 to round out the top five.
Arizona had finished second in the meet last year and third the two previous years, but for coach Frank Busch 2008 had the right collection of individual and team performers.
|Frank Busch was named swim Coach of the Meet|
"I just think it was? terrible disappointment to lose the title last year on the last day," said Busch. 'This team has had a lot of time to think about that. They've been talking about winning this championship for a year. They have been thinking about this meet for a long time.
"This is awesome. It doesn't get any better than this. The team was awesome. They relayed up. I've never experienced anything like this. This group is determined; they are fun to be around. I'm going to enjoy this championship," Busch said.
The Wildcats won all five relay events in the three-day meet?and took two individual honors with Lara Jackson in the 50 free and Lacey Nymeyer in the 100 free. But plenty of other Wildcats chipped in with key swims in both?championship and consolation finals to fuel UA's scoring.
Nymeyer set a pool record in the 100 free with a time of 47.50, and was part of three record-setting relay teams.
The Cats took the most swimmers to Columbus?-- 18, the maximum -- of any team in the field and the depth proved to be the difference.
The NCAA championship is the schools's 16th. Softball has won eight, baseball three, women's golf two, and one apiece by the men's basketball and men's golf squads. UA also has three national synchronized swimming titles in the since defunct Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) competition.
|Brandy Collins and Lacey Nymeyer give the hardware some love|