Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Grado, Chitwood Highlight Night Three of NCAAs
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 25, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 25, 2012


Seniors Ben Grado (Conifer, Colo.) and Cory Chitwood (Union, Ky.) highlighted the third and final night of the 2012 NCAA Men's Swimming Championships on Saturday, as they each earned individual national championship honors to give the Wildcats a fourth place finish.

Chitwood defended his two-time title in the 200 back to become the third Arizona men's swimmer to win three or more national titles. Only Olympians Simon Burnett and Ryk Neethling have accomplished this feat in Wildcat history.

"I know my teammates were looking at me to throw down a fast time and get a win for them and that is all I wanted to do," Chitwood said. "I didn't care about any time, I didn't care about any records. All I wanted to do was put myself in a position where I knew I could win."

"Chitwood had a disastrous start to the meet," Arizona head coach Eric Hansen said. "But he battled back like the champion that he is. He won in ugly fashion, because he didn't have all his weapons, but that was awesome. There is something special about that."

Grado also made history as he became the first Arizona diver in history to win a national championship, posting a score of 487.25 to beat out 25 other divers.

"I never expected for this moment to happen," Grado said. "Now that it has, I am so grateful to have all the coaches, all my family, all the team--everyone's support in it. It has all aided in my success."

The Wildcats also found success in the 200 breast as freshman Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill.) and junior Carl Mickelson (Chandler, Ariz.) finished third and fourth in the race, respectively.

To complete the meet, seniors Kelley Wyman (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) and Adam Small (Tempe, Ariz.) and sophomores Mitchell Friedemann (Allenton, Wis.) and Giles Smith (Baltimore, Md.) finished sixth in the 400 free relay.

"I didn't know that I would be this happy with fourth place," Hansen said. "But the things we accomplished were really, really special. We broke two American records and won five titles. This sport isn't always about getting everything you want all the time. It's about adversity and what you're going to do with it and I think that's something we did a really good job of today and through the past few days."

As a program, Arizona has finished in the top 10 every year since 1998 and has had at least one national champion every year since 2004.

Coverage of the finals sessions Friday and Saturday will be broadcast on ESPNU at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, Sunday, April 1.

For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona Men's Swimming, visit or follow @ArizonaSwimming on Twitter.



200 Back

1. Cory Chitwood - 1:39.66

15. Michael Sheppard - 1:43.66

100 Free

14. Giles Smith - 43.45

200 Breast

3. Kevin Cordes - 1:51.97

4. Carl Mickelson - 1:52.18

11. Kevin Munsch - 1:54.95

12. Austen Thompson - 1:54.99

Platform Diving

1. Ben Grado - 487.25

400 Free Relay

6. Smith, Friedemann, Wyman, Small - 2:53.61


200 medley relay: Small, Friedemann, Cordes, Smith

400 IM: Austen Thompson

100 breast: Kevin Cordes

200 back: Cory Chitwood

Platform Diving: Ben Grado


Adam Small - 200 free relay, 50 free, 200 medley relay

Kelley Wyman - 200 free relay, 400 medley relay

Mitchell Friedemann - 200 free relay, 400 medley relay, 200 medley relay, 100 back

Tommy Gutman - 200 free relay

Matt Barber - 500 free, 800 free relay

Austen Thompson - 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 breast

Woody Joye - 200 IM, 100 fly, 800 free relay

Cory Chitwood - 200 IM, 800 free relay, 200 back

Ben Grado - 1m, 3m, Platform

Kevin Cordes - 400 medley relay, 200 medley relay, 100 breast, 200 breast

Giles Smith - 400 medley relay, 200 medley relay, 100 fly

Carl Mickelson - 100 breast, 200 breast

Kevin Munsch - 100 breast, 200 breast

Cameron Owen - 800 free relay

Michael Sheppard - 200 back


1. California - 535.5

2. Texas - 491

3. Stanford - 426.5

4. ARIZONA - 396

5. Michigan - 271

Margo Geer P12 WOTY
Bear Down Challenge M S&D