Feb. 26, 2009
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Led by impressive individual efforts by freshman Alyssa Anderson and senior Lara Jackson as well as its usual tremendous amount of depth, Arizona concluded day two of the Pac-10 women’s swimming championship in first place at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
In the 500 yard freestyle, Alyssa Anderson overcame an atypical eighth place finish in the prelims to win the event during the finals, turning in a time of 4:38.71. Her finals time was nearly seven seconds faster than her time in the prelims.
Lara Jackson, who set the American and NCAA record in the 50 freestyle in December during the Texas Invite with a time of 21.33, just missed establishing a new mark, posting a time of 21.36 and winning the event. Her time was good for a new Pac-10 Championship record, bettering her time of 22.04 set last season. Justine Schluntz earned a sixth place finish for the Cats in the 50 free as well with a time of 22.45.
In the 200 individual medley, Arizona showed off its breath of talented swimmers with Jenny Forster, Julie Stupp and Andrea Bortizke finishing third, fourth and fifth, respectively. In the consolation, Arizona also placed three with Carly Beaudreau winning the heat, Hailey DeGolia finishing runner-up and Annie Chandler also earning points.
“I’ll be very honest, winning the Pac-10 is very nice, but that’s not what this meet is all about for us,” said head coach Frank Busch. “We want to race really well [this week] so we can be real good in a couple of weeks [at the NCAA championships]. I’m really happy with the way our kids are performing.”
Moving over to the diving well, freshman Ainsley Oliver placed seventh overall in the women’s three-meter event with a score of 262.60. Her seventh place finish earned 23 points for Arizona. Marisa Samaniego of UCLA won the competition with a 320.85.
In men’s diving action, Ben Grado added to his individual point total from last night by impressively finishing fourth among eight finalists in the three-meter men’s event. Grado turned in a score of 385.55.
“It was great for the individuals to win, but it was really nice to see the relay win at the end, because the relays are kind of the M.O. of your team,” said Busch. “I think we’re strong enough to have a run at [the NCAA title].”
Arizona currently leads with 510.5 overall points. California is in second with 448.5 points followed by Stanford with 430.
Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 7
1. University of Arizona 510.5
2. Univ of California Berkeley 448.5
3. Stanford University 430
4. University of Southern Calif 327
5. Univ California Los Angeles 284
6. University of Washington 261
7. Arizona State University 146
8. Oregon State University 143
9. Washington State University 126