Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women?s Swim and Dive Compete at Pac-10 Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 24, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week in the Pool ?-The No. 6 Arizona women’s swimming and diving team and the men’s diving team will travel to Seattle, Wash. to compete in the 2005 Pac-10 Championships on Feb. 23-26 hosted by Oregon State. Preliminary action will begin at 11 a.m. (PST) and finals will start at 6 p.m.


A Look at the Wildcats ?- The women’s swimming and diving team is currently ranked No. 6 with a 9-2 overall record (6-1 Pac-10), posting only two losses to No. 4 Texas and the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal. The men’s diving team will feature junior John Collier who won both diving events for four consecutive meets. Against ASU, Collier beat the defending NCAA Champion Joona Puhakka in the 3-meter competition.


Pac-10 Schools in the National Rankings: Seven Pac-10 Schools are in the Top-25 national rankings according to the College Swim Coaches Association (CSCAA) proving that the Pac-10 has some of the strongest competition in the country.


                  Rank                  School

                     5                      Stanford

                     6                      Arizona

                     9                      Cal

                     11                    UCLA

                     15                    Arizona State

                     20                    USC

                     21                    Washington

 Arizona at Pac-10’s History ?- The Wildcats have finished in the top-five at the Pac-10 Championships every year since 1996. The women last won the championships in 2000 with 1125 points and tallied four individual champions. The women’s team has consecutively posted at least one individual champion each year since 1997, as 2002 was the most successful year tallying at total of 10 individual champions.

 The past 10 years of Pac-10 Championships:

2004        3rd place        1,221.5 points
2003        4th place        1,013 points
2002        3rd place        1,151.5 points
2001        2nd place        1,289.5 points
2000        1st place        1,125 points
1999        4th place         441 points
1998        3rd place         1,060.5 points
1997        3rd place         1,090.5 points
1996        4th place         813 points
1995        5th place         860 points
1994        7th place         529 points


What Happened Last Year ?- The women completed the 2004 Pac-10 Championships in third place with a total of 1,221.50 points. Junior Jessica Hayes took home the only Pac-10 title in the 200-yard backstroke with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:56.41.

Head coach Frank Busch was named Pac-10 women's swimming coach of the year for the fourth time in his career on March 26, 2004. Busch won the honor in 1991, 1998 and 2000 as 2well.

Freshman Mary Yarrison was also named co-Pac-10 newcomer diver of the year. Yarrison, who shared the honor with Stanford's Cassidy Krug, finished second in the 1-meter dive and third in both the 3- meter and platform events, respectively at last year’s Pac-10 Championships.

Last Time in the Water ?- Both the women and men’s teams defeated intrastate rival Arizona State on Feb. 12 for the final home meet of the season. The women downed ASU 165-126 and the men cruised by the Sun Devils 172-118.

            The women won a total of 10 events and posted one exhibition time that was good enough to take first-place. Beginning with the 200-yard medley relay, a team composed of junior Jenna Gresdal, junior Erin Sieper, sophomore Whitney Myers and freshman Courtney Cashion won with a time of 1:42.88.  Senior Emily Mason took first-place in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:10.79) and in the 200-yard freestyle, freshman Lacey Nymeyer finished first (1:49.63) while senior Jessica Hayes was second (1:50.83) and junior Katie Willis finished third (1:52.98).


            Gresdal won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 55.60 and junior Marshi Smith finished third (56.34). Mason posted her second individual victory in the 200-yard butterfly (2:02.39) and Myers finished second (2:03.19). Cashion, Gresdal and junior Ryann Hackett took the top-three spots in the 50-yard freestyle as Cashion finished first (23.61), Gresdal was second (23.78) and Hackett was third (24.25). Nymeyer won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.56 and classmate Cashion finished second (50.68) while Hayes came in third (52.00). Smith won the 200-yard backstroke (2:00.92) with Hayes and Gresdal finishing second and third.


            Nymeyer swam exhibition in the 500-yard freestyle finishing with a time of 4:58.55, which was good enough to beat the winning time of 5:01.11. In the 200-yard individual medley, Mason finished second (2:04.95) and Myers was third (2:05.48). For the final swimming event, the 200-yard free relay team of Smith, Cashion, Hayes and Nymeyer won with a time of 1:34.14.


            “This was a very good meet,” said head swimming coach Frank Busch. “The kids were really ready to compete and I really feel that we are in a good position going into the Pac-10 Championships.”


            In the diving well for the Wildcats, senior Claire Febvay won the 1-meter competition with 281.25 points. Senior Daniela Bemme finished third in the competition (280.28 points) and senior Megan Chambers was fourth (263.93 points). Febvay finished second in the 3-meter competition (277.35 points) while Bemme, Chambers and sophomore Megan MacDonald took the third, fourth and fifth place positions.


“I really wanted the team to raise up to the occasion and dive up to the competition,” said head diving coach Michele Mitchell-Rocha. “Megan Chambers had the meet of her life today and I am really proud of the overall effort from the team.”


            The men’s team won 11 total events and posted three exhibition times that was fast enough to take first-place. Freshman Gerhard Zandberg made his debut as a Wildcat in the 200-yard medley relay along with teammates junior Dave Rollins, junior Lyndon Ferns and freshman Jonas Persson who won with a time of 1:30.27.


            “Gerhard is a little tired after this meet,” said Busch. “He hasn’t had any opportunities to swim competitively yet this season, but he is going to be a huge asset to this team.”


            Freshman Matt Biel dominated the 1000-yard freestyle as he won the race with a time of 9:10.67. Junior Tyler DeBerry won the 200-yard freestyle (1:39.76) and sophomore Adam Ritter finished third (1:40.95). Junior Simon Burnett posted the fourth first-place finish for the men’s team by winning the 100 backstroke (49.44) while Zandberg finished second (50.79) and sophomore Nate Rothman came in third (51.56).


            Freshman Ivan Barnes won the 100-yard breaststroke (56.44), as Rollins and senior Nate Stevens finished second and third. Ferns and Burnett took the top-two positions in the 50-yard freestyle. Ferns won with a time of 20.22 and Burnett finished second (20.83). Zandberg posted his first individual win in the 100-yard freestyle (46.42) with Rollins and Persson finishing second and third.


            Freshman Nick Thoman won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:49.33 and Burnett finished second (1:51.28). Rollins finished first in the 200-yard individual medley (1:51.39) and Ritter finished third (1:53.90). For the final event of the day, the 200-yard free relay team composed of Ferns, Burnett, Persson and senior Byron Jeffers won with a time of 1:24.34.


            On the diving side for the men, junior John Collier won the 3-meter competition, beating the defending NCAA Champion Joona Puhakka with 368.47 points. Collier finished second on the 1-meter (353.10 points) and freshman Jeff Hagedon finished third on both boards.


“John had an outstanding day,” said Mitchell-Rocha. “Joona is an NCAA champion and beating him was a great way to end the regular season going into the Pac-10 Championships.


Individual Rankings (Top-Five)


Event                             Name                      Rank        Time

50 Free                          Jenna Gresdal        4th            22.52

100 Free                        Lacey Nymeyer      3rd            48.80

500 Free                        Emily Mason           1st            4:40.51

100 Back                       Jenna Gresdal         5th           53.68

100 Breast                    Erin Sieper               5th            1:01.16

200 Breast                    Erin Sieper               3rd            2:11.29

100 Fly                          Whitney Myers      2nd          52.89

200 Fly                           Emily Mason           2nd           1:55.40

200 IM                           Whitney Myers       4th          1:58.38

200 Free Relay                                                 4th          1:30.55

400 Free Relay                                                 4th          3:17.55



Recruits for 2005-06 ?- Six athletes have signed letters of intent with the Arizona swim team for the 2005-06 season. Justine Schluntz, from Albuquerque, NM., will swim distance freestyle events and the 400 individual medley. Taylor Baughman, from Carmel, Ind., and Lindsey Kelly, from Lake Forrest, Ill., are strong contenders in the sprint freestyle events. Anna Turner, from Ft. Collins, Colo., will be competitive in the sprint freestyle and a backstroke events and Kathryn Thompson, from Roseburg, Ore., will also swim backstroke and freestyle. The one male swimmer to sign with Arizona, Matt Barnard from Tucson, Ariz., will swim sprint freestyle events.

Arizona’s Next Action ?- The men’s swimming team will be competing at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships on March 2-5 in Long Beach, Calif.



Margo Geer P12 WOTY