April 3, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz. - USA Swimming has selected Arizona head swimming coach Frank Busch to be an assistant to the women's team at the Mutual of Omaha "Duel in the Pool, which will take place April 6, 2003 from the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. NBC will televise the event in its entirety the following weekend.
The "Duel in the Pool" format pits the United States against Australia in a winner take all scenario. Each country has brought 26 swimmers to swim in 15 events on the 50 meter Olympic distance course.
Busch is no stranger to coaching at prestigious, international meets. In the past he has coached at the World Championships, the Pan-Pacific games, among others. Later this summer, Busch will serve as an assistant to the women's team at the X Fina World Championships from Barcelona, Spain.
"This is a big meet, it is on our soil and it is being covered by NBC. I think that it will boost the popularity of swimming." said Busch.
Joining Busch at the "Duel in the Pool" is Wildcat sophomore Emily Mason. Like her coach, Mason is very familiar with swimming on an international level. The Phoenix, Ariz. native has participated in the Pan-Pacific Games as well as the Goodwill Games so far in her career. In her last competition, Mason shattered two school records and finished second in a pair of events at the 2003 NCAA Championships from Auburn, Ala.
Mason is scheduled to compete in the 200m fly as well as the 400m IM; the same two events that she broke school records in at the NCAA's.
The set up of the meet has been altered slightly in hopes of increasing the popularity of swimming, especially in the United States. Instead of heats containing eight swimmers, as they normally do, the "Duel in the Pool" will have only six swimmers at a time in an effort to maximize the spotlight on the numerous Olympic champions that will be participating in this event.
"USA Swimming has done a great job of setting up this meet to hopefully encourage more interest in the sport. Australia is one of the great swimming powers on Earth and having only six in each heat will allow more focus on the swimmers." commented Busch.
Both Arizona swimming and diving squads closed out their season on high notes, with both teams posting top ten finishes at the 2003 NCAA Championships. The Wildcat men placed eighth, with Wildcat freshman Simon Burnett being crowned the NCAA Champion in the 200y freestyle, while their female counterparts finished ninth. The 'Cats have now placed in the top ten for six straight years on the men's side and for 14 consecutive on the women's.