Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
How UA built the NCAA title
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 23, 2008
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Frank Busch web size

Modesty and good nature befit coach Busch, but his team went out and

just kicked the opposition into submission in the three-day NCAA meet

TUCSON--Arizona's swimming community and athletic staff welcomed back the 2008 NCAA Champion women's swimming team Sunday after its rousing victory in the national meet Thursday through Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

Head coach Frank Busch, named swimming coach of the meet -- who else? -- will get to enjoy the moment for only a day or two before he and his staff take his powerful men's team to Federal Way, Wash., to try and duplicate the feat this coming week.

The Wildcats, after a second-place finish last year in being overtaken on the final day by national nemesis Auburn, came through this year with a two-day effort that essentially had Arizona the victors before the final day of competition.

"We knew after the second day that we had it. But the girls, recalling what happened last year, just went out and (throttled) everyone else to get it done," Busch said.

Here's how Arizona put together it first-ever NCAA women's swimming title:

Day 1

--Won the?200-yard freestyle relay ?in an NCAA, meet, American and U.S. Open time of 1:26.90. Swimmers junior Lara Jackson, senior Lacey Nymeyer, junior Anna Turner and junior Taylor Baughman beat second-place finisher Cal by more than half a second.

--Got points from sophomore Leone Vorster in the? 500 free , with an 11th-place finish by taking third in the consolations.

--Junior Hailey Degolia finished sixth in the 200 IM , with sophomores Jenny Forster and Annie Chandler picking up points with consolation final swims.

--Lara Jackson won the 50 free in a pool-record 21.69, with Lacey Nymeyer (6th) and Anna Turner (8th) also in the championship final, plus Taylor Baughman chipping in five points with a 12th in the consolations.

--The Cats win the 400 medley relay in another American, NCAA, meet, pool and U.S. Open record time (3:29.06). Hailey Degolia, sophomore Annie Chandler, sophomore Ana Agy and Nymeyer beat the field by nearly four seconds. It gives UA a first-day lead of 19 points over Auburn.

Day 2

--Won the 200 medley relay with another five-record time of 1:35.29, two seconds ahead of runner-up Stanford. Degolia, Chandler, Jackson and Turner are in the pool for the Cats.

--Degolia finishes third in the 100 butterfly, with Agy coming in at 7th to give UA 28 points in the event against a strong California contingent that picks up 37.

--Nymeyer takes second place by a fifth of a second behind Florida's Caroline Burckle in the 200 free. Vorster (12th) and Baughman (13th) pick up nine more markers in the B-final.

--Chandler finishes third in the 100 breaststroke behind a pool-record swim by USC's Rebecca Soni and Jillian Tyler of Minnesota. Tyler out touches her by a tenth of a second. Junior Jessica Embick (10th) and senior Jaceuelyn Craft (14th) add points in the consolation swim.

--UA's strong showing in the 100 backstroke picks up 50 points. Degolia comes in second, junior Justine Schluntz comes in fifth, Agy takes sixth and sophomore Andrea Boritzke takes 11th in the consolation event. It's a huge edge over Auburn's 16 points in the swim and puts UA up by almost a hundred points.

--Schluntz, Nymeyer, Vorster and Baughman takes turns to win the 800 free relay in a meet- and pool-record 6:58.69. It's a narrow victory over Texas A&M's contingent but pushes UA to a dominating 120-point lead at the end of the day.

Day 3

--Sophomore Caitlin Iversen finishes sixth in the 200 backstroke, with Agy (12th) and Boritzke (14th) also qualifying for the finals and putting points on the board for UA.

--Nyemyer wins the 100-yard freestyle in a pool-record 47.50, while Turner takes eighth for 11 more points and UA's strong squad adds B-final points from Jackson (11th), Baughman (14th) and Schluntz (16th). The meet is a runaway.

--Chandler takes eighth place in the 200 breaststroke, with Craft at 10th and Embick swimming to 14th.

--The final event of the meet is the 400 free relay and Arizona makes it a five spot in the relays with another NCAA, American, U.S. Open and meet-record 3:11.34 swim for first place. It's another near two-second victory and a large punctuation point for a dominating three days of swimming by the Arizona Wildcats. Nymeyer, Turner, Jackson and Baughman do the work in the pool.

A number of other swimmers qualified and competed in the meet for UA including sophomore Carley Beaudreau (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 breast), freshman Emma Darlington (50 free, 100 fly, 100 free), junior Lindsey Kelly (50 free, 100 free) and senior Brandy Collins (50 free, 100 fly, 100 free).


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Margo Geer P12 WOTY