Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 5 / 7 Ranked Arizona Swimming to Face USC, UCLA
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 11, 2010
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 11, 2010

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona swimming program will get its Pac-10 season under way this weekend when it squares off against Southern California on Friday at 4 p.m. PT and the women face UCLA on Saturday at noon.

First Rankings Out

In the season’s first TYR / CSCAA rankings released today, the UA men’s program was ranked 5th overall in the country.  The women’s team was not far behind charting in at No. 7 in the country.  All the usual cast of characters are among the nation’s top swim teams lead by Stanford on the women’s side and Texas on the men’s side. Arizona’s opponents this weekend, USC and UCLA, were also included in the poll.  The Trojan women’s is one spot ahead of Arizona at No. 6 while the USC men are 14th.  UCLA women are ranked 24th.

Recapping Last Week

The Wildcats looked rather dominant last weekend in its sweep over Wisconsin at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.  The men’s team, led by Matt Barber, Cory Chitwood and Carl Mickelson, beat the Badgers 187-74 while the women won 158-104.  In the women’s meet, Alyssa Anderson and Margo Geer each took home three events and combined for four NCAA consideration times between them.

Last Dual Meets Before Texas Invitational

The Cats are nearly at the half way point in their training with the final dual meets of the fall this weekend against USC and UCLA.  After the weekend, Arizona will begin its taper process in order to get rested up before the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational in Austin, Texas.  The UA looks to be as fast as possible in Austin over the three-day meet to get NCAA cut times.  Two seasons ago at this meet in Austin, Arizona sprint freestyler Lara Jackson broke the American record in the 50 free, clocking a 21.36.

A Little Travel Test From Coach Busch

UA Head Coach Frank Busch, now in his 22nd season at Arizona, is famous for his training regimens and mental tests. On Friday before UA swims against USC, the Cats will be facing another quirky challenge. After USC pushed the meet back to 4 p.m. PT, Arizona has decided to fly into Los Angeles Friday morning, grab a quick bite to eat, then take on the Trojans in their pool that afternoon.  Busch believes it will be a good test for his swimmers to see if they’re up to it.

Lightning Fast Female Freshmen

Arizona’s women’s team is made up of a plethora of fast freshman as proven in the first two dual meets of the season.  Leading the way is Margo Geer who has already posted NCAA B cut times in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles.  Geer’s time of 49.30 in the 100 free is currently the fastest in the country.  She’s not alone however as classmates Grace Finnegan, Sarah Denninghoff, Aubrey Peacock and Kait Flederbach aren’t far behind.  Finnegan has posted a 23.60 in the 50 free and a 51.46 in the 100 free, good for second and third fastest on the team respectively.  In the 100 backstroke, Denninghoff leads the team with a 55.04 by way of a relay start and Peacock isn’t far behind with a 55.51.  Peacock also holds the second fastest 100 free time on the team with a 51.43.

Chitwood Looks Primed For Another Big Year

Redshirt junior Cory Chitwood, coming off a season where he won the NCAA title in the 200 backstroke, is looking ready for another big year.  The Union, Ky. product currently has UA’s fastest times in the 200 free, 100 back, 200 back, and 200 I.M.  Additionally, he is second on the team in the 400 I.M. and 100 butterfly.  Come December, Chitwood will look to light up the pool in Austin with several automatic cut times.

Margo Geer P12 WOTY