Dec. 31, 2008
On Deck: Arizona will begin 2009 by hosting Northern Arizona, Washington, Oregon State and Air Force on Friday, Jan. 2 at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The meet is scheduled for 2 p.m. MST. The meet will feature the Arizona men against Washington and Air Force while the women face Oregon State, Northern Arizona and Washington.
Last Time Out: The Arizona swimming program last competed in the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas during the first week of December. At the Invite, the Wildcats posted many impressive times including an American record by Lara Jackson. The Arizona women won the event overall by tallying 1,153.5 points. The men finished second to host Texas with 938.5 points.
Cats in the Rankings: The Arizona men are currently ranked at No. 3 with 278 points, behind Texas and Stanford. The Arizona women are slotted at No. 7 with 249 points. Although the women won the prestigious Texas Invite, they dropped four spots in the latest poll.
Scouting Oregon State: The Beavers feature two strong swimmers in the 200y butterfly, with Saori Haruguchi and Kayla Rawlings receiving NCAA automatic berths in the event. OSU has recorded 15 dual wins by 7 different swimmers on the season. Haruguchi represented Japan during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Scouting Washington: The Huskies, coming off posting several top times in school history, make the trip to Tucson with what may be one of its better swimming programs in recent history. The women placed second in the Husky Invite, tallying 14 NCAA "B" cut times. The men finished fourth at the Husky Invite, held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, in Federal Way, Washington, and earned six "B" cut times and one automatic berth.
Scouting Air Force: The Air Force men's swimming team, which enters this weekend with a 5-5 dual record, has seven athletes who rank in the top five in the Mountain West Conference in their respective events, led by senior captain Bryan Avery, who holds the conference's fastest time in the 200 IM, while also ranking second in the 200 freestyle.
Scouting Northern Arizona: The Lumberjacks, currently sitting at 5-6 in dual meets, will make the trip south on I-10 looking to put a stop to its two meet losing streak. They are lead by junior Rachael Foe and T.J. Williams.
Record-setting Agy: Ana Agy set two new school records during the Texas Invitational last month. In the 200y backstroke, Agy broke Beth Botsford's school record by clocking in at 1:52.47. In the 100y backstroke, Agy recorded a time of 51.45 for tops on the Arizona all-time charts.
Lightening Lara: Lara Jackson turned in a very impressive performance at the Texas Invitational in the 50y freestyle. Jackson recorded a time of 21.33 to set a new American and NCAA record.
Automatic Berths: During the Texas Invitational, Arizona earned 23 NCAA Automatic Qualifying Berths. Those earning "A" cut times include: Jean Basson, Bryan O'Connor, Jack Brown, men's 200y free relay, Lara Jackson, Justine Schluntz, Ana Agy, Andrea Bortizke, Jenny Forster, Annie Chandler, Julie Stupp, and four of the five relay teams for the women. For the complete list, reference the 2008-09 Top Performers list.
Head Coach Frank Busch: Entering his 20th year as head coach, Frank Busch has transformed the University of Arizona swimming and diving into one of the nation's most powerful programs. The 2007-08 season was a breakthrough for Busch and his charges, as both the men's and women's swim teams captured NCAA championship, the first two in school history. Over the course of seven days the Wildcats used a team-first mantra to rise to the top of the collegiate swimming world in dominating fashion - the men prevailed by 94 points and the women triumphed by 136. The squads combined to win two individual national championships, eight relay national championships and earn a total of 57 All-America accolades. For his efforts, Busch earned both the men's and women's NCAA Coach-of-the-Year accolades, an honor he has earned six times in his career. Busch's 2008 campaign was capped by a successful Olympic experience. He was named an assistant coach for the United States swim team, where a total of 15 of his current or former swimmers participated and represented seven different nations at the Beijing Games.
Hillenbrand Aquatic Center: The new state-of-the-art diving structure and pool features two 1-meter and three 3-meter Maxiflex Model "B" springboards on concrete short stands. The structure has platform heights of 3, 5, 7.5, and 10 meters, each with Rough-Tex surfacing. The pool has built-in spray surface agitation and an air-sparging system under all platforms and two of the 3-meter springboards. New equipment such as the digital video replay systems for both the springboards and platforms are sure to be a welcomed addition to both divers and fans alike. Another amenity fans are sure to enjoy is the expandable seating made to accommodate over 800 fans, as well as the Colorado Timing Systems full-color, high-resolution scoreboard. In between dives, the competitors will have access to the new walk-in hot tub and on-deck hot showers so they can prepare for their next event. The new diving pool is 25 meters across by 33 meters long, 17 feet deep, and holds 1.2 million gallons of water. It contains a fully recessed gutter system that is 12 inches from water line up to deck level. The pool was built to meet all NCAA and Olympic specifications for Swimming, Diving and Water Polo. This world class facility will surely be a key asset for the Wildcats in their quest for another NCAA championship.
Next Up: Arizona won't enjoy much time to prepare for its next opponent as they will host the West Virginia Mountainners on Jan. 8 at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.