Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Prepare for 2006 NCAA Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 16, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week in the Pool ?-The No. 4 Arizona women’s swimming and diving team is set to compete at the 2006 NCAA Championships on March 16-18 at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga., with a chance to bring home the first national team title in the history of the program. Preliminary action will start at 11 a.m. (EST) and finals will begin at 7 p.m. each day.



A Look at the Wildcats ?- The women’s team will feature 15 swimmers and one diver at this year’s national championships, who will compete in 37 individual events, five relays and three diving events. The Wildcats recently climbed up in the national rankings to No. 4 with a 9-2 overall record (5-2 Pac-10), posting only two losses to No. 3 Cal and No. 8 Stanford. Arizona’s last competition was Feb. 22-25 as they captured the 2006 Pac-10 title for the second time in school history. The Wildcats tallied a total of four individual champions, three relay champions and 17 NCAA automatic qualifying times.

Arizona had been in the lead since day one of the championships, downing two of the top teams in the nation, Cal and Stanford, posting the best finish at the meet since 2000 when the women took first place with a total of 1,125 points and only four individual champions.


Who’s Qualified for NCAA’s -


Name                                                     Event(s)

Taylor Baughman                        50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay

Courtney Cashion*                        50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 400 free relay, 800 free relay

Jacquelyn Craft                        100 breast, 200 breast

Hailey Degolia                        200 IM, 100 fly, 100 back

Jessica Embick                        100 breast, 200 breast

Jenna Gresdal*                        50 free, 100 free, 100 back, 200 free relay, 400 medley relay, 400 free relay

Lara Jackson                        50 free, 200 medley relay

Lindsey Kelly                        200 free relay, 400 free relay

Tiffany Manning                        Diving

Whitney Myers*                        200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly, 400 medley relay, 800 free relay

Lacey Nymeyer*                        50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 free relay, 400 medley relay, 800 free relay 400 free relay

Lisa Pursley*                        100 fly, 200 fly, 50 free

Erin Sieper*                        100 breast, 200 breast, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay

Marshi Smith*                        50 free, 100 back, 200 back, 200 medley relay

Kathryn Thompson                        200 IM, 200 back

Anna Turner                        50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay


*  - Indicates athlete is a returning NCAA competitor and 2005 First Team All-American.

Freshmen Phenomenon - Seven freshmen swimmers are qualified to compete at the NCAAs this year, making them one of the most successful recruiting classes in Arizona history. With the exception of distance freestyler Justine Schluntz, every freshman recruited last year made it to the competition.


A look at the competition: The Wildcats will have their work cut out for them this week as they take on the best teams in the nation. The top-teams to defeat are the top-ranked, defending national champions, Georgia Bulldogs, who won the Southeastern Conference title last month in Knoxville, Tenn., with 1,094 points. No. 2 Auburn finished second at the championships last year and finished second at the 2006 ACC conference championships with 1,075 points.  



What Happened Last Year - At the 2005 NCAA Championships, the Wildcats upset three teams placing third with 440 points and posted two individual champions. Out of the 13 athletes who competed at the national championships, there were 42 All American honors, seven school records and four swimmers finished among the top 15 for individual points.



Last Week in the Pool - The Arizona men’s and women’s diving teams competed at the Zone ?'E’ Diving Championships last weekend in Oklahoma City, Okla.


            Two Wildcats qualified to compete at their respective NCAA Championships including senior Tiffany Manning and senior John Collier for the men.

On the first day of competition, Manning led the women as she finished fourth in the 1-meter competition with 580.95 points. Junior Megan MacDonald finished 24th, respectively, in the event with a total of 211.20 points.

Collier was the only Wildcat to place in the 3-meter event for the men, as he finished sixth with 663.10 points.

In Friday’s competition, Collier competed for the men’s squad finishing seventh in the 1-meter competition with 591.60 points. For the women in the 3-meter, Manning finished sixth with 583.85 points and MacDonald was 23rd with 234.60 points

In the platform competition, Manning finished 13th in the event with 190.50 points while Macdonald finished 21st with170.55 points.



2006 Pac-10 Champions



Name                                                             Event                                Time

Smith, Sieper, Jackson, Turner                  200 medley                        1:39.60

Cashion, Gresdal, Turner, Nymeyer          200 free relay                    1:30.22

Cashion, Gresdal, Baughman, Nymeyer   400 free relay                     3:16.60 #

Whitney Myers                                           400 individual medley      4:14.18

Jenna Gresdal                                               100 back                                53.05

Courtney Cashion                                        100 free                                48.59

Tiffany Manning                                           platform diving                  296.85 points


# indicates Pac-10 meet record


Arizona NCAA Championships History ?- Since 1991, the Arizona women have finished in the top ten at the NCAA Championships. While the Wildcats have never taken a national team title, there have been a total of 20 national champions (individual and relay combined). With the exception of the 2003 NCAA Championships, the women have posted at least one national title every year since 1995.


Past NCAA Championships:


Year   Place          Points


2005    3rd              440

2004     3rd             369

2003     9th             209

2002     5th             291

2001     5th             304

2000     2nd             472

1999     4th             332

1998     2nd            378

1997     4th             351.5

1996     6th             251

1995     5th              250

1994     10th             151

1993     6th             250

1992     5th             272

1991     7th             163  

Margo Geer P12 WOTY