This Week in the Pool ?- The fifth-ranked Arizona men’s and fourth-ranked women’s swimming and diving teams are set to open their 2006-07 season against the Wisconsin Badgers and the UCSB Gauchos (men only) at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center on Friday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. (MST).
What Happened Last Year? ?- The Wildcats began their dual meet season with a pair of victories over
Wildcat/ Badger History ?- The Wildcats have hosted the Badgers as their season opening competition at
Year Women Men
2001 W 163-119 W 149-129
2002 W 94-90 L 24-98
2003 W 172.5-128.5 W 175-121
2004 W 141-119 W 160-99
2005 W 138.5-123.5 W 176-85
A Look at the Opponents ?- The UCSB men’s team completed their first competition of the season on Oct. 27 and 28th against the
On the women’s side,
2006-07 Men’s Season Preview - With the loss of four NCAA Champions, and a total of five All-Americans, the
the Wildcats will blend veteran experience with new talent this year, as they feature four returning NCAA
champions and 14 letterwinners, while welcoming 12 fresh faces to the squad.
“You can’t replace four NCAA champions; however this is a very talented freshman class that has come in with some very strong credentials, and we have experience to go with it,” head swimming Coach Frank Busch said. “We have enough returning swimmers that we will be solid again this season.”
The Wildcats return to the pool after a phenomenal 2005-06 season where they finished second at the NCAA Championships. As a team,
“This team is going to be really competitive again this year,” Busch said. “I can’t say how everything is going to pan-out, but this team will again be making some noise at NCAAs.”
Two seniors will lead the way for
Ritter returns to the water after a breakout junior year in which he scored in the top-eight of the 200 IM and the 200 free, while anchoring three national champion relays.
The junior class will prove to be the dominant force for the Wildcats as three multiple-NCAA champions return for action, along with one very talented newcomer.
“We are returning three awesome swimmers from this class, all national champions,” Busch said. “The juniors are very motivated and are really solid in what they do. They have great work ethic and they will really be counted on this year.”
Ivan Barnes is a six-time All-American and contributed to the first-place 400 medley relay at the NCAA Championships last year. He will continue to be strong in the breaststroke events and will lead the team as one of the captains.
Albert Subirats is a seven-time all-American, and swam in three of
A five-time first-team All-American and NCAA Champion in the 400 medley relay, Nick Thoman looks to continue his dominance in the backstroke events after placing third individually in both the 100 and 200 back at the national championships. Thoman also holds the school record in the 200 back and was recently named to the World University Games team.
Newcomer Darian Townsend will add more talent to the already strong junior class and provide depth to the freestyle events. Transferring to
Matt Biel is another force among the junior class and a veteran distance freestyle contender. Biel finished 10th in the 1650 free and 14th in the 500 free at the Pac-10 Championship last year, and hopes to make it to the NCAA Championships this year for the first time in his career.
The sophomore class will be expected to put their experience as collegiate athletes to good use this season, as Coach Busch hopes to qualify more of them for NCAA’s in next spring.
“These guys all had tremendous summers,” Busch said. “They have all come a long way since last season and we are counting on them not only to make it to the meet this year, but to hopefully put points on the board as well.”
Joining the Wildcats late in the 2005-06 season, Nicolas Olivera (Nilo) was the only swimmer from his class to qualify for last year’s NCAA Championships. Nilo also competed at the Pan-Pacific Games for Brazil this summer where he finished sixth in the ?'B’ final of the 100-meter free. With his accomplishments over the past year, Nilo is expected to be a top-contender in the freestyle events for
David Pursley is expected to be strong in the individual medley and distance freestyle events, as he finished seventh in the 1650 free at the Pac-10 Championships. Josh Arreguin, Ryan Richardson and Brandon Selts will also add to the freestyle events.
The 2006-07 freshmen class is one of the strongest recruiting classes
“This class is going to have such great room for improvement and participation,” Busch said. “Every one of these young guys comes in with credentials.”
Included in the mix are Jake Tapp, a native of Langley, British Colombia, who holds provincial state records in the 100 and 200 back, and Jordan Smith, who made national cuts this summer.
Joel Greenshields is a talented freestyle competitor, as he participated in the Pan-Pacific trials, was a member of the Junior Pan Pacific team and was part of the 2006 Canadian-Australian Tour.
Jack Brown and Jean Basson both swam at the Commonwealth Games and, according to Busch, are moving up in the world rankings as far as freestyle events are concerned. Tyler Svendsen, a
“The men’s team is very strong this year,” head diving coach Michele Mitchell said. “We have two great divers and a really strong team dynamic this season.”
Junior Matt Bisordi will lead the Cats, returning to competition after utilizing a medical redshirt in 2005-06. Competing for the first year as a Wildcat, Bisordi is expected to be a top-contender in the Pac-10 conference,
Mitchell will count on Mike Guilfoil to help lead the team to a successful season. An incoming freshman, he is expected to make a splash after competing internationally since he was 13. Also, junior Craig Sheedy was a state meet contender in 2004, and is predicted be strong on both spring board events as well.
“Both Mike and Matt should get the NCAA Championships,” Mitchell said. “Each of these guys could win Pac-10 titles and are going to forces in every competition we have.”