March 1, 2003
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Behind strong performances by senior Beth Botsford, freshman Jenna Gresdal and senior Julie Manitt, the Arizona women's swimming and diving squad ascended to fifth place with a total score of 623 points after two days of the 2003 Pac-10 Championships. UCLA remains the leader after Friday's competition with 848.5 points while Stanford stays at second (797 pts.) and USC occupies the third spot 663 points. Host California remains one spot ahead of the Wildcats in fourth with 656 points after Friday's action from the King County Aquatic Center.
Arizona's biggest impact on Friday was felt in the 100y back event. The 'Cats were paced with a dynamic effort by Botsford, who won the event with a time of 53.21. Following Botsford was Gresdal who finished third (54.67) and Manitt who garnered the fourth position when she touched the wall in 54.83. All three of these times are good enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships automatic standard.
Arizona's other prominent relay team, the 800y freestyle squad, proved to be as successful as their counterparts on Friday. Arizona's ensemble of freshman Marshi Smith Katie Willis and Gresdal coupled with sophomore Jessica Hayes managed to finish second in the event with an impressive swim of 7:16.58
Other notables for the Wildcats on Friday included the 200y medley relay quartet of Botsford, Gresdal, freshman Lisa Pursley and junior Jessica Wagner who garnered third place with an NCAA consideration swim of 1:40.92. Friday's effort by these four also was the best swim of the season so far for the 'Cats.
Elsewhere, Hayes continued to make her presence be known with a third place finish in the 200y free (1:48.14). Hayes not only earned an NCAA consideration time with her swim but she established the new fastest time for the Wildcats during this season. Botsford also closed out her successful day with a seventh place mark in the 100y fly (54.28).
The second day of action during this year's Pac-10's brought more impressive performances by the Wildcat divers. Junior Claire Febvay paced Arizona with a sixth place finish on the 3-meter platform as she accrued 482.50 pts. Following Febvay was junior Daniela Bemme at 13th (415.20 pts.) and senior Jennifer Hess at 16th with a score of 400.15 pts.
While Arizona improved its own position on Friday, the dominant theme of the action was the performance of California junior Natalie Coughlin. Coughlin obliterated the Pac-10 meet record in the 100y fly with her season-best swim of 51.10. The Golden Bear swimmer has now broken her own record two consecutive years in this event.
The 2003 Pac-10 Championships conclude on Saturday from Federal Way, Wash. with preliminaries beginning the day's proceedings at 11 am, followed by a 6 pm start for the finals.