Dec. 4, 2008
AUSTIN - The Arizona swimming and diving team's proved just how dominant they can be today during the first day of the Texas Invite in Austin, Texas.
"I'm really proud of our team's performances today," said head coach Frank Busch. "We have really been working hard and are beginning to see results."
Senior Lara Jackson had the most impressive day of any swimmer, setting a new NCAA, American and school record during the prelims of the 50 Yard Freestyle with a time of 21.37. Jackson would go onto top that time in the finals of the 50 free, winning the event in 21.33 seconds.
"Watching Lara (Jackson) swim today was something really special," added Busch.
Jackson would not be satisfied with just setting one record, as she won the 100 Yard Butterfly in 51.12, topping the school record set by Whitney Myers two seasons ago.
"I'm excited by my performances today, but realize I have a lot of room for improvement," said Jackson. "We swam well as a team overall and will look to continue that tomorrow."
Jackson's time of 21.33 topped the American record of 21.46 set by Natalie Coughlin at the 2007 USA Swimming Short Course National Championships in Atlanta, Ga. The mark took down the NCAA record of 21.63 set by Georgia's Kara Lynn Joyce at the 2006 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga.
The women's team as a whole turned in several outstanding performances. In both the 200 Individual Medley and 100 Yard fly, Arizona qualified six of a possible eight into the finals.
The women won both relays by winning the 200 free relay with a time of 1:27.72 and the 400 medley relay in 3:31.71.
Of the six women's swimming events, the Wildcats won five.
In the 500 Yard Freestyle, Alyssa Anderson won the event with a time of 4:39.54 followed by teammate Leone Vorster's 4:39.83.
The women are currently in first place with 448 points. The next closest team is Texas with 266 points.
The Arizona men's team also had several impressive showings on Thursday. Jean Basson won the 500 Yard Freestyle with an NCAA qualifying "A" cut time of 4:13.10.
Bryan O'Connor finished runner-up in the 200 Individual Medley by posting an NCAA qualifying time of 1:43.96.
The men finished second to Texas in both relays with a time of 1:17.21 in the 200 Yard Free Relay and 3:09.34 in the 400 Medley Relay.
The Arizona men currently sit in second place with 343.5 points behind leader Texas with 503.5.