Feb. 7, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona swimming and diving team will close its regular season on Saturday with a home dual against Arizona State at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The meet action will begin at 2 p.m. MST, and beforehand will honor the senior swimmers and divers.
The seniors, who will take the starting blocks for the last time in Tucson, have showed remarkable leadership this season. Lauren Smart has been a regular top finisher in the 100 and 200 back, most recently winning the 100 back in last week’s tri-meet vs. Texas and Southern Methodist.
Fellow senior breaststrokers Ellyn Baumgardner and Chelsey Salli have anchored the women’s team at the position, putting up solid times in the 100 and 200 breast events throughout the year. Baumgardner has also been a valuable piece to the women’s 4x200 and 4x400 medley relay teams, who have dominated the entire season.
Another important swimmer to the medley relays is senior Megan Lafferty, who also swims legs on the equally commanding freestyle relay teams.
Other women seniors include Ashley Herrera and Monica Drake. Herrera has been a constant point winner for the Wildcats in the diving events, and Drake has also been apart of several winning relays. In the 2012 NCAA Championships, Drake was apart of the school-record setting 4x200 free relay team.
The men have had several dominant seniors in Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or, and Nicholas Popov. Mickelson has had key victories in the 200 breast and 400 IM this season, while Bar-Or and Popov have led the freestyle and medley relay teams to impressive strings of victories throughout the season.
Contributions were also made by Matt Hurko and Pete Stacy, who holds a top-ten school performance in the 200 back.
Following this meet, the team will travel north to Seattle, Wash. for the Pac-12 Championships, which run Feb. 27-Mar. 6.
About Arizona State
In their last time out, the No. 23 Arizona State women defeated NAU in a dual, 146-91. They were led by Cassie Morrice, Shannon Landgrebe, Tristan Baxter, and Caroline Kuczynski. Each of these swimmers earned two individual first-place finishes on the day. Also dominant was diver Morgan Weller, who won both the 1m and 3m dives. The men last competed against Cal, and were led by Alex Coci who had two wins in the 100 and 200 fly. Also with two wins for the Sun Devils was Harrison Jones, who won both the 1m and 3m diving events. Jones was also recently named the Pac-12 Diver of the Month.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.