Feb. 26, 2011
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The No. 7 Arizona women's swimming and diving team placed fifth at the 2011 Pac-10 Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King Aquatic Center Saturday evening with 874 points to close the four-day meet. Stanford finished first followed by California, USC and UCLA.
The Wildcats will now set its sights upon the year-long goal of the NCAA Championships which will be held this year in Austin, Texas from March 17-19. Arizona has finished among the country's top four teams on the women's side for seven straight seasons, a stretch which leads all Division I teams.
To begin the evening's events Saturday, the Pac-10 paid tribute to Arizona head coach Frank Busch with a video montage with the other conference head coaches talking about how Busch has inspired them throughout their careers and wishing him well. The King County Aquatic Center also bathed the complex in Cardinal and Navy lights while the crowd and athletes gave him a standing ovation. Busch will be resigning at the end of the season to take over as USA Swimming's National Team Director.
After the recognition, Arizona's Susana Helms got the scoring started for the Wildcats by placing sixth in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:25.45 to earn 24 points.
In the 200 backstroke, freshman Sarah Denninghoff placed third overall with a time of 1:54.99 followed by freshman teammate Aubrey Peacock who was fifth in 1:55.44. In the B consolation final, Hannah Ross placed second in 1:56.27. Swimming in the C consolation of the 200 back, Lindsay Seemann was third with a time of 1:58.34.
The Cats did not have anyone place in the championship heat of the 100 freestyle but Kait Flederbach and Monica Drake each swam in the consolation B heat with Flederbach finishing second in 49.45 while Drake was fifth with a time of 49.79. In the C consolation heat, freshman Grace Finnegan won the race, posting a time of 50.09.
Chelsey Salli, swimming in the championship heat of the 200 breaststroke, placed seventh overall with a time of 2:12.40. Ellyn Baumgardner was runner-up in the B consolation heat, recording a time of 2:13.71 while teammate Eve Sarris was seventh in 2:15.60. UA's Hilary Bell was in the C consolation heat and finished seventh in 2:19.98.
In the 200 butterfly, Alyssa Anderson claimed fifth place in the championship heat with a time of 1:56.38. Anderson was the Wildcats' highest point scorer through three individual events with 68 without relays factored in. Ashley Evan and Dana Christ, both in the C consol's of the 200 fly, finished second and fourth, respectively.
Arizona's Ainsley Oliver did not compete on the platform event in diving action today due to an injury suffered in yesterday's 3-meter springboard event. On the men's side of platform action, Andres Guerra was eighth with an overall score of 274.90 in the final round.
To close the championships, Arizona's 400 freestyle relay team finished third with the quartet of Margo Geer, Denninghoff, Flederbach and Drake recording a time of 3:15.15.
With UA finishing ahead of Arizona State in the final standings this week, the Wildcats gain a point in the State Farm Territorial Cup standings. The total score, with women's indoor track and field and women's swimming factored in, sits at 6.5 to 3.5 in favor of the Wildcats. Next week's men's swimming championships will decide another point.
1. Stanford - 1,567.5
2. California - 1,545.5
3. USC - 1,309.5
4. UCLA - 1,099.5
5. Arizona - 874
6. Arizona State - 780
7. Washington State - 297
8. Oregon State - 289
Arizona's Top Individual Point Scorers (Relays Not Included)
Alyssa Anderson - Jr. - 500 free, 400 I.M., 200 fly - 68 points
Sarah Denninghoff - Fr. - 50 free, 100 back, 200 back - 58 points
Aubrey Peacock - Fr. - 50 free, 100 back, 200 back - 54 points
Samantha Pickens - Fr. - 1-meter, 3-meter - 50 points
Margo Geer - Fr. - 50 free, 200 free - 48 points