March 1, 2013
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – For the third night in a row, the Arizona women’s swim team closed out the night with a relay victory. After winning the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay, the Wildcats perhaps put up their best performance of the meet by scorching the field in the 400 medley relay on day three of the Pac-12 Championships at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center on Friday.
For the second straight night, Arizona won the “A” final and “B” final in a relay. To start off the 400 medley relay, the “B” team of Bonnie Brandon, Chelsey Salli, Ashley Evans and Kait Flederbach earned a NCAA “A” cut time of 3:34.51.
Then, in the “A” final, Lauren Smart, Megan Lafferty and Margo Geer scorched the field with a time of 3:28.91 to earn another relay Pac-12 title. The time was just short of a school and American record of 3:28.31 set by the 2009 squad at the NCAA Championships, but it does go down as the fastest time nationally this season.
“The “B” team made an “A” cut and our “A” team had the swim of the meet in my eyes,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “Everybody was unshaved and to do what they did really gets me fired up for March. They are all great racers and it really showed tonight.”
The Cats also had plenty of success on the individual side as Lafferty came in fourth (52.10) and Smart finished sixth (52.24) in the 100 fly to lead off the night. Smart also finished sixth in the 100 back later on in the night with a time of 52.45. Evans finished with her top time in the 100 fly of 53.55.
With three Wildcats in the finals of the 100 breast, Baumgardner led the charge by turning in a strong performance by coming in second with a time of 59.52. Salli came in fifth (1:00.83) and freshman Emma Schoettmer (1:01.34) was eighth.
In the diving competition, Rafael Quintero added on to his already stellar season by finishing second in the 3m dive with 400.30 points. Olympic medalist Kristian Ipsen of Stanford finished in first with 443.40 points.
The Wildcats currently sit in fourth place in the team standings with 775 points. Stanford leads the way with 953.5 points followed by USC with 945.5 points and Cal with 883.5. UCLA rounds out the top five with 614.5.
Saturday’s competition will get underway at 10 a.m. (PT) with the prelims of the women’s platform diving competition. Swimming will continue at 11 a.m. with the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 200 fly. Later on in the afternoon will be men’s platform diving, the 1,650 free and the 400 free relay will cap off the night.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.