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Wildcats Start the New Year at Home with Tri-Meet
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/06/2004
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 6, 2004

This Week in the Pool - The sixth-ranked Arizona women's swimming and diving team and the seventh-ranked Arizona men's team will return from winter break to host the Northern Arizona women's team, Missouri, and the Purdue men's team on Friday, Jan. 9. Competition begins at 2 p.m. (MST) at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

A Look at the Opponents -Missouri women's swim team comes to Tucson ranked 22nd in the nation, and with a 4-2 overall record. The last competition for the lady Tigers was the Indiana Invitational where they placed third. The Missouri men's team is 1-2 overall, and placed third at the Indiana invitational also. Purdue men's team has a 1-2 overall record. Their last competition resulted in a 129-114 loss to Texas A&M. Northern Arizona women's team is 9-3 overall. They are coming to Arizona 0-10 in dual-meet competition against the Wildcats.

Arizona's Last Action - On Dec. 4, 2003 The Wildcats traveled to Austin, Texas for the annual Texas Invitational. In the first day of competition the men's and women's teams collectively earned 11 qualifying times for the NCAA championships. Individually for the men, sophomore Lyndon Ferns won the 50-meter freestyle (22.32) and the 100-meter butterfly (46.71), to earn an automatic qualification time for the NCAA championships. The Arizona men's relay teams posted two relay NCAA consideration times. The 200-yard freestyle medley of Ferns, senior Eric La Fleur, senior Luis Rojas and junior Byron Jeffers, won with a time of 1:18.93. The 400-yard medley relay of sophomore Dave Rollins, senior Greg Owen, Luis Rojas and Ferns placed second with a time of 3:12.05. Rojas also received an NCAA consideration time in the 100 butterfly with a time of 47.58. Five Arizona women's times qualified for the NCAA championships. The 400-yard medley relay of sophomore Jenna Gresdal, senior Jessica Wagner, freshman Whitney Myers and sophomore Marshi Smith won their race with a qualifying time of 3:40.000. Individually for the women, Whitney Myers qualified for NCAA championships in two events, the 200-yard Individual Medley (2:00.18) and the 100-yard butterfly (53.31). Junior Emily Mason won the 500-yard freestyle (4:42.02) also qualifying her for the NCAA championships. After day two at the Texas Invitational, Arizona had set a total of 16 qualifying times for the NCAA Championships. On Friday, three Arizona divers qualified for the finals. Freshman Mary Yarrison took first place with a score of 464.60.

Senior Daniela Bemme scored 440.95 for sixth place for the women and senior Alex Vollelunga scored a 305.90, taking home the third place position on the men's side in tonight's diving competition. In the evening action, the women's 200-yard medley relay of sophomore Marshi Smith, senior Jessica Wagner, sophomore Lisa Pursley and sophomore Ryann Hackett posted a consideration time for NCAA championships with a time of 1:41.51.

Junior Emily Mason swam the 200-yard freestyle in 1:47.05, automatically qualifying for NCAA championships. Freshman Melissa Johnson qualified in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.5. Senior Jessica Wagner posted an automatic qualifying time in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.22. The men's 200-yard medley relay of senior Eric La Fleur, sophomore Dave Rollins, senior Luis Rojas and sophomore Lyndon Ferns clocked in a time of 1:28.25, to earn a consideration bid at NCAA Championships. Ferns also received an automatic qualifying time in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:36.1. Sophomore Tyler DeBerry swam the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:37.50 and teammate Byron Jeffers swam it in a time of 1:39.10, which will eventually qualify the three 200- freestyle swimmers for the 800-yard freestyle relay at the NCAA championships. To complete their three-day competition at the 2003 Texas Invitational on Saturday Dec. 6, Sophomore Lyndon Ferns broke two records for Arizona. Ferns swam the 100-yard freestyle in 42.40, breaking the Arizona school record held by NCAA champion Ronald Schoeman, who set the record of 42.56 in 2000. Ferns later broke the 49-second mark swimming the 100-meter freestyle in 48.99, breaking the South African national record held by former Arizona Wildcat Ryk Neesling. Seniors Luis Rojas and Eric La Fleur posted NCAA championship qualifying times in the 100-yard freestyle with times of 43.17 and 43.47 respectively. Senior Juan Veloz also posted an NCAA championship qualifying time in the 200-yard butterfly with a mark of 1:43.50. Sophomore Tyler DeBerry earned a qualifying time in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:10.56. For the women, junior Jessica Hayes posted a personal best (1:56.07) in the 200-yard backstroke, qualifying for the NCAA championships. Junior Emily Mason earned an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA championships in the 200-yard butterfly with a mark of 2:12.46. Freshman Whitney Myers posted an NCAA consideration time of 2:13.43 in the 200-yard butterfly.

In the second day of competition for the Arizona diving team, senior Daniela Bemme, freshman Mary Yarrison and sophomore John Collier qualified for the Texas Invitational diving finals. For the women, Bemme placed fourth on the one-meter with a score of 275.10 and Yarrison posted a mark of 264.50 to earn sixth-place honors on the one-meter. For the men, Collier finished sixth on the three-meter with a score of 469.65

Head Coach Frank Busch - Head coach Frank Busch enters his 15th year at the helm of the UA swimming and diving program. Busch has transformed University of Arizona swimming into one of the nation's most powerful programs. Busch enters the new year with a continued commitment to bringing honor to the University of Arizona through the success of its swimming and diving program. Busch has been named Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year three times, Pac-10 Men's Coach of the Year two times, and he earned NCAA Division I-A Coach of the Year honors in 1993.

Head Diving Coach Michele Mitchell-Rocha - Head coach Michele Mitchell-Rocha enters her eighth year with the Wildcat diving program. Mitchell-Rocha is a four-time recipient of the men's Pac-10 Diving Coach of the Year.

Arizona's Next Action - The Wildcat men and women will travel to Berkeley, Calif. on Jan. 23. Competition begins at 1 p.m. PST.

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