West Lafayette Ind. ?- After the final evening at the 2005 Women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, the No. 6 Arizona Wildcats finished third with 440 points, posting two individual national champions, breaking six school records while a total of nine women earned 42 All American honors.
The Wildcats came within 52 points of the Auburn Tigers, who placed second this year with 492 points, which is the first time in the past three years that the Tigers have not won the national title.
“All coaches say they have a special group of girls, but these girls are some of the best,” said head swimming coach Frank Busch. “The girls had one of the best meets in school history and that is because of two things the first being leadership, the seniors really pulled this team. The second is that the girls really cared for one another. Each of them thinks of sacrifice as a good thing and they are willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of their teammates.”
Starting action this evening was senior Jessica Hayes, who finished third in the championship finals of the 200-yard backstroke with a personal best time of 1:54.56. Also, in the 200-yard backstroke, junior Marshi Smith finished eighth posting a personal best time of 1:57.02.
In the 100-yard freestyle, three women qualified for the championship finals. Freshman Lacey Nymeyer finished second in the race with a personal and team best time of 48.56. Junior Jenna Gresdal finished fifth with a time of 48.77 and freshman Courtney Cashion finished eighth (49.09). Senior Emily Mason placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:54.79 and sophomore Whitney Myers finished fourth with a personal best time of 1:55.60.
In an emotional end to the diving season, seniors Claire Febvay and Daniela Bemme ended an era of diving excellence as Febvay qualified for the championship finals of the 10-meter platform placing eighth with 416.85 points. Bemme was 11th overall posting 393.60 points.
“It was a nice finish to a wonderful carrier,” said head diving coach Michele Mitchell-Rocha. “They will both be missed tremendously. Daniela and Claire had integrity and talent, they will be very missed.”
In the final event of the championships, the 400-free relay team of Gresdal, Cashion, Hayes and Nymeyer broke another school record with a time of 3:14.30.
“This meet was amazing,” said Busch. “We broke a few records because this is a hard working bunch of women, they don’t back down from anything and that makes me, as a coach, very proud.”
School Records Broken (6)
Simply the Best: Senior Quotes
“This has been the most fun four years I have ever had on a team, definitely the best experience anyone could ask for.”
“Swimming aside, I have taken a lot away from this team. I have been able to be myself since I have been here. I came to college extremely shy but now I am able to joke and have a great open relationship with my coaches and the rest of the team.”
“Since swimming has been a huge part of my life, for my whole life, it’s weird to realize that it’s over. I will miss it more that anything.”
“I’m going to miss swimming so much!” I have never been apart of a big team like this and I have developed some awesome relationships here.”
“This experience was incredible and priceless.”
“Winning the 400-meter freestyle was my favorite memory because it was the first time ever for me to win an individual title, but there are so many moments that I will always cherish.”
“We did so well this year, everyone gave their best effort so what more can you ask for?”
“We came here with half the girls that the top-five teams had and we finished this well, it feels great.”