Jan. 25, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz. - Paced by three event victories by sophomore Emily Mason, and two individual titles from Jessica Hayes, the University of Arizona women's swimming and diving squad defeated the ninth-ranked Golden Bears 136-197 on Saturday. In completing their weekend sweep, the Wildcat women claimed 9 victories out of a possible 13 events, including crucial relay events and both rounds of diving competition en route to their fourth straight dual meet victory.
In other action, the Wildcat men battled in every event but were unable to pull out the upset over the third ranked Cal men. The Cats garnered a season high eight event victories, and only trailed by three points going into the final medley relay event, but in the end Cal's relay squad prevailed.
One of the main reasons Arizona's men were able to stay so close to the favored Golden Bears was the performances of three swimmers; freshmen Simon Burnett and Lyndon Ferns and junior Juan Veloz. This trio of Wildcats was responsible for six titles during Saturday's competition.
Burnett, a spring semester enrollee, won two crucial events on Saturday in only his second collegiate meet. He edged out Cal's freshman sensation Mike Cavic for the victory in the 200y free (1:39.90). Burnett also was victorious in the 200y back when he touched the wall in 1:47.72. Ferns, fresh off three events in his NCAA dual meet debut on Friday, continued his winning ways against Cal with a victory in the 50y free (20.62), a time which surpassed the previous top time by nearly .6 seconds.
Veloz continued his impressive streak of victories in the 200y fly when he edged his nearest competitor by more than a second (1:46.58) Later in Saturday's action, Veloz won the 500y free (4:34.55)
With Chad Ainsworth's victory included in Saturday's total, the Wildcat men won 4 out of a possible 5 freestyle events.
For the rising Wildcat women, Mason led the way by winning 500 and 1000y free and the 200y IM events. She clocked times of 4:54.40, 10:13.06 and 2:03.65, respectively. Over the weekend, Mason took five individual titles, a key in the Cats' sweep of two higher ranked squads.
Also on Saturday, the suddenly dominant Hayes took home victory in both the 100y and 200y free events with finishes of 51.54 and 1:50.19, respectively. Hayes swept the aforementioned events in both of this weekend's meets.
Perhaps the key to Arizona's victory on the women's side was the stellar performance of the divers. Junior Claire Febvay won both the 1 and 3-meter springboard events with points of 176.30 and 197.55, respectively. Junior transfer Daniela Bemme placed second in both events. In fact, the Wildcats went 1-2-3 in the 3-meter with senior Jenn Hess finishing third (176.45)
While the Wildcat men could not pull out a victory on Saturday, the men's divers could not be at fault for the loss. Junior Alex Vollelunga won the 1-meter platform (204.40 pts.) while junior Josh Anderson was victorious in the 3-meter platform as well (200.30 pts.)
After facing two teams ranked in the top ten this weekend, the future offers no respite for the Wildcats. They return to the road next weekend, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, when they travel to battle Texas and SMU, both nationally ranked squads. Each day's events will run throughout the day.