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Men's Swim and Dive Jumps 4 Places into Eighth through Two Days of 2003 NCAA Championships
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/28/2003
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 28, 2003

Complete Results

AUSTIN, Texas - Throughout the entire regular season, Arizona head coach Frank Busch has tirelessly emphasized the importance of momentum, both garnering and then retaining it.

Judging by the University of Arizona men's swimming and diving team's performance on Friday evening, they have gotten the point.

After being in 12th after Thursday's action, the 'Cats vaulted into eighth place with a total of 123 points, and they now trail seventh-place Minnesota by only 37 going into Saturday's competition.

Auburn retained the lead after two days with 449 points, easily demolishing their next challenger, Texas (282 pts). Top-ranked Stanford follows in third (272 points), California and USC round out the top five with totals of 238 and 190, respectively.

Freshman Simon Burnett, the final swimmer to qualify into the championship final, won the 200y freestyle in his personal best time of 1:33.68, the second fastest time in Arizona history.

"My time was fantastic. My heat swim (1:35.68) was the best I thought I could go because it was so painful. But, to go 1:33 is phenomenal, I still can't believe it." said Burnett.

The Wildcats have now had an individual NCAA Champion nine out of the last 11 years.

Elsewhere, junior transfer Luis Rojas established in a school record when he finished second in a spectacular performance in the 100y fly. Rojas' time of 46.01 eclipsed Roland Schoeman's old Arizona record by almost a half second.

Three personal bests and top ten performances in Wildcat history were both established on Friday.

The Wildcats gained even more ground in Friday evening's opening event, the 200y medley relay. Freshman Burnett led off, he was followed by juniors Greg Owen, Rojas and in the anchor leg, Eric la Fleur. This quartet combined to place second in the consolation final, tenth overall, as they collectively touched the wall in 1:27.76, a season top time.

After jumping three spots from 12th to ninth after only the first event of Friday's finals, junior Juan Veloz continued the hot streak with his seventh-place finish in the 400y IM (4:37.01). In addition to receiving his first first-team All-America selection with his performance, Veloz improved on his personal best he had set earlier on Friday.

Through only three events, Arizona had totaled 62 points, 20 more than they had accrued during all of Thursday's competition.

Junior Josh Anderson earned his second Honorable Mention All-America selection in as many days with performance in the 3-meter springboard. Anderson placed 12th when he garnered 520.40 points with his six dives.

In Friday's final event, the 800y free relay, Arizona's quartet of Ferns, Burnett, Veloz and la Fleur clocked in at 6:29.12, their season best, en route to a tenth-place finish.

The Wildcats gained even more ground in Friday evening's opening event, the 200y medley relay. Freshman Simon Burnett led off, he was followed by juniors Greg Owen, Luis Rojas and in the anchor leg, Eric la Fleur. This quartet combined to place second in the consolation final, tenth overall, as they collectively touched the wall in 1:27.76, a season top time.

After jumping three spots from 12th to ninth after only the first event of Friday's finals, junior Juan Veloz continued the hot streak with his seventh-place finish in the 400y IM (4:37.01). In addition to receiving his first first-team All-America selection with his performance, Veloz improved on his personal best he had set earlier on Friday.

Arizona's quartet of Burnett and la Fleur, Owen and Rojas began the morning on a great note with a ninth place finish in the 200y medley relay with a collective time of 1:27.96, a season top time. While Arizona missed the championship final by one spot, the 'Cats will be seeded first in the evening consolation final.

Veloz started off the individual events in the 400y IM with the third-fastest swim in Wildcat history, not to mention his personal best. The Mexico City, Mexico native finished 3:47.51, a time which granted him eighth place and a spot in Friday evening's championship final.

In the third event of Friday morning, the 100y fly, Arizona brought two swimmers into action, one a veteran and the other in his first NCAA Championships. Senior Jeff Dash, in his fourth NCAA appearance, gave his season best effort by clocking it at 48.20, good enough for 28th place.

However, it was Rojas, a spring semester enrollee from Mexico, who stole the show for Arizona in this event. His time of 46.64 qualifies him in the fourth position for the evening's championship final, it was also his season best and the third fastest performance of all time for Arizona.

Burnett concluded a remarkable morning with his new personal best in the 200y free (1:35.68). This time puts Burnett in the eighth position in the championship final on Friday night.

The third and final day of the 2003 NCAA Championships from Austin, Texas resume Saturday with preliminaries at 11 am (CST) with finals concluding the event at 7 pm (CST).


Day One Event Competitor Prelims Finals Place 200 Freestyle Relay Ferns (19.93), la Fleur (19.47) 1:18.51 1:18.28 4th Burnett (19.84), Rojas (19.27) 200 IM Juan Veloz 1:47.39 ------ 17th Jeff Dash 1:48.44 ------ 26th 50 Freestyle Eric la Fleur 19.77 19.81 11th-CF Lyndon Ferns 19.78 19.99 14thCF Luis Rojas 20.25 ------ 37th 400 Medley Relay Burnett (47.67), Rojas (46.46) DQ Owen (54.43), la Fleur (DQ) 1-Meter Diving Josh Anderson 283.45 ------ 15th-CF

Team Scores after Day 1: 1. Auburn-206, 2.Stanford-121, 3. California-115, 4. Texas-107, 5. Florida-81, 12. Arizona-41

Day Two Event Competitor Prelims Finals Place 200 Medley Relay Burnett (22.61), Owen (25.31) 1:27.96 1:27.76 10th-CF Rojas (20.87), la Fleur (19.16) 400 IM Juan Veloz 3:47.51 3:47.01 7th 100 Butterfly Jeff Dash 48.20 ------- 28th Luis Rojas 46.64 46.01* 2nd 200 Freestyle Simon Burnett 1:35.68 1:33.69 1st 3-Meter Diving Josh Anderson 520.40 ------- 12th-CF 800 Free Relay Ferns (1:37.72), Burnett (1:35.44)------ 6:29.12 10th-CF la Fleur (1:36.65), Veloz ( 1:39.31)

Team Scores after Day 2: 1. Auburn-449, 2. Texas-282, 3. Stanford-272, 4. California-238, 5. USC-190, 8. Arizona 123

*-denotes school record

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