AUSTIN, Texas - In one of the most impressive performances in recent school history, the Arizona men's swim team notched titles in four of the five events and set two U.S. Open records on day one at the University of Texas Invitational.
The highlight of the evening finals session came as UA sophomore Roland Schoeman set the U.S. Open record in the 50m freestyle, meaning he swam the fastest time ever on United States soil. While his evening time of 21.40 was also a meet record, his morning time of 19.28 in the 50y freestyle was an NCAA automatic qualifying time and also bettered his school record of 19.49.
The second U.S. Open record came as the 400m medley relay squad of senior Matt Allen, senior Rob Henikman, Schoeman and senior Coley Stickels swam a meet record time of 3:33.61.
The men's squad of Schoeman, Stickels, Henikman and junior Jay Schryver finished first, set a meet record and punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships in March with a time of 1:27.71 in the 200m freestyle relay.
Seven-time NCAA champion, senior Ryk Neethling also captured an auto time with his first place finish in the 500y freestyle (4:17.83). The final auto time of the year came from Stickels as he finished second to Schoeman in the finals of the 50m freestyle, with a time of 22.05. Junior Ben Anderson barely missed out on an auto time in the 200 IM, as he clocked a meet record and personal best time of 1:59.88.
The women's team also started quickly today as they captured two event titles and notched six NCAA automatic qualifying times. The highlight for the women came in the finals of the 200m IM, as Arizona qualified five of the eight finalists. Freshman Amanda Beard captured first place with an NCAA auto time of 2:00.20, while sophomore Erin Vogt was third (2:15.17), sophomore Emily Mastin was fourth (2:15.39), senior Rachel Joseph fifth (2:16.42) and freshman Julie Manitt finished seventh (2:17.50).
The 200y freestyle relay team of senior Denali Knapp, sophomore Jenny Vanker, sophomore Amy Bouta and sophomore Sarah Tolar also clocked an NCAA auto time (1:31.55), while Vogt finished second in the finals of the 100m butterfly with an auto time of 1:00.46. During the morning session senior Trina Jackson and Tolar both notched auto times in the 500y freestyle, by clocking times of 4:43.94 and 4:45.27, respectively.
The final auto time of the day for the women came in the 400m medley relay as freshman Beth Botsford, Beard, Vogt and Vanker captured first place, with a time of 4:02.92.
Day two of the University of Texas Invitational continues tomorrow with the prelims (yards) at 10 a.m. and the finals (meters) beginning at 6 p.m. (CST).