Oct. 14, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona swimming team will get its dual meet season under way this weekend when it hosts Arizona State, UNLV and Kansas for meets on Friday and Saturday. Friday's Relay meet will start at 2 p.m. while Saturday's events begin at 10 a.m.
The men's and women's teams, coming off a third and fourth place overall showing respectively at the NCAA championships, begin the dual meet season a few weeks ahead of schedule, hoping to get a few more races in before heading to the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational in December for NCAA cuts.
Many new faces comprise the team in 2010-11, especially on the women's side where the Wildcats brought in the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in the country.
Relay, Relay, Relay
On Friday, Arizona will host a relay-only meet to kick the weekend off. The following is a breakdown of how Friday's various events will be conducted:
200 Medley Relay (Traditional relay)
50-100-150-100-50 Freestyle (This will be a five-leg, all freestyle relay)
3x150 Back (Backstroke only relay)
3x150 Breast (Breaststroke only relay)
3x150 Butterfly (Butterfly only relay)
3x400 Freestyle Relay (Three legs of 400 yard freestyle)
100 IM-200 IM-300 IM (Three leg individual medley relay)
*Each team can have a maximum of two relays per event
**A swimmer is limited to compete in three relays
22nd Season at the Helm
Head Coach Frank Busch begins his 22nd season as point-man of the Wildcats. During his tenure at Arizona, Busch has been named NCAA Coach of the Year six times and has won two NCAA Championships. Busch is assisted by associate head coach Rick DeMont, assistant coaches Augie Busch and Whitney Hite and diving coach Michele Mitchell.
Between the UA men's and women's teams, 11 All-Americans or honorable mention winners are back this season including NCAA individual champion Cory Chitwood. Chitwood, as well as Rob Iddiols, Carl Mickelson, Kevin Munsch, Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or, Adam Small, Austen Thompson and A.J. Tipton are returning on the men's side. Alyssa Anderson, Ellyn Baumgardner and Hannah Ross are back as point scorers on the women's team. Emma Darlington, who scored last season on the women's 200 free relay, under went season-ending shoulder surgery and will redshirt the season.
Fear the Freshmen
Arizona has quite the accomplished incoming freshman class with many newbies already members of junior national teams. On the women's side, watch for Margo Geer, Grace Finnegan, Sarah Denninghoff, Lindsay Seeman and Aubrey Peacock to be possible standouts while freshmen Matt Barber and Mitchell Friedemann are two of the men's team's rising newcomers.
Often the case with the Arizona Swimming and Diving program, there is a plethora of international talent on each team. On the women's side, Canadians Chelsey Salli, Hilary Bell, Ainsley Oliver and Lindsay Seemann team with Australian Eve Sarris for a dynamic foursome. For the men, it's a little more scattered around the globe with Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or from Israel, freshman Henrique Martins from Brazil, senior captain Rob Iddiols from England, Craig Jordens of South Africa, Nick Popov from Germany, and Ricardo Alvarez from Mexico.
Oh Captain, My Captain
In 2010-11, the Wildcats will be captained by Susana Helms, Dana Christ and Alyssa Anderson on the women's side and Rob Iddiols and Cory Chitwood on the men's team. They'll look to provide leadership to many of the younger Cats.
Next Please: Arizona will next host Wisconsin on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. in a traditional dual meet between the two schools.