March 21, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Arizona women’s swimming and diving program finished third for the NCAA title with 389 points in College Station, Texas tonight on the campus of Texas A&M University. California took first place on a thrilling 400 free relay win which decided the championship.
Unlike last year where Arizona soared to the top of the standings and remained there throughout, the women of 2009 made things interesting all weekend long. In the end, the Cats had too many missed opportunities over prelims on Thursday and Friday.
Heading into the final relay, California led Georgia by one point, while Arizona was eight and a half back.
In the 400 free relay, Justine Schluntz swam the leadoff leg, giving Arizona a great start followed Lara Jackson who kept up with the pack. Lindsey Kelly swam third for the Cats followed by Taylor Baughman. Down the stretch California pulled away and claimed the title. Arizona posted an final time of 3:12.98.
Swimming out of lane six in the 200 backstroke, Ana Agy posted a time of 1:51.99, good for fourth overall. Her time broke her previous established UA record of 1:52.47 and is the 12th fastest ever swum. Jenny Forster and Caitlin Iverson, swimming in the 200 back consolation, placed first and fifth respectively to add 13 points to Arizona’s total.
The 200 breaststroke duo of Julie Stupp and Annie Chandler turned in times of 2:09.59 and 2:09.88 to place fifth and seventh, respectively. That earned Arizona 25.5 points, while Georgia and Cal both received seven points for consol finishes.
Alyssa Anderson finished seventh in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:55.51. Anderson’s finish garnered the Cats 12 points.
Lara Jackson, who essentially put the Cats on her ink-ed shoulders on Thursday night by winning the 50 free and being a part of two American record-setting relay titles, placed seventh overall in the 100 free with a time of 48.26. Taylor Baughman placed sixth in the consol’s with a time of 48.77.
The third place finish is the eighth time Busch has finished in the top-three over the last 12 years.
The Pacific-10 Conference placed three teams in the top-four, with Stanford following Cal and Arizona in fourth place.
1. California - 411.5
2. Georgia - 400.5
3. Arizona - 389
Arizona Women’s Swimming and Diving NCAA Finishes This Decade
2008 – 1st
2007 – 2nd
2006 – 3rd
2005 – 3rd
2004 – 3rd
2003 – 9th
2002 – 5th
2001 – 5th
2000 – 2nd