March 29, 2003
With 5 competitors in 3 events, including 3 competitors in the championship final, the University of Arizona men's swimming and diving team is primed to rise from their current eighth-place position in the standings after the final day of preliminaries at the 2003 NCAA Championships from the Jamail Swim Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin.
In Saturday morning's opening event, the 100y free, the 'Cats put four swimmers into the water, the most in any individual contest in the entire meet. Of the four, three qualified for the evening finals. Junior Eric la Fleur led the way in second place with a lifetime best of 42.86, the second fastest performance in Wildcat history. Junior Luis Rojas and freshman Lyndon Ferns are eligible for the evening's consolation finals as they finished in 11th (43.55) and 13th (43.63), respectively. Freshman Simon Burnett, the champion in the 200y free on Friday, rounded out the Arizona quartet in 21st (43.85).
All four Wildcat swimmers in the 100y free improved on their previous season best times.
In Saturday morning's third event, junior Greg Owen found out just how competitive the 200y breaststroke event was going to be. Despite setting his own lifetime top time and falling short of the Arizona school record by a mere .10, Owen finished 22nd (1:58.70), thus preventing him from advancing to either the consolation or championships finals.
Junior Juan Veloz, the top seeded qualifier in the 200y fly, lived up to billing when he touched the wall in 1:43.21 en route to garnering the third position in Saturday evening's championship final.
The quartet of Ferns, Rojas, Burnett and la Fleur finished Saturday morning's preliminaries with a fifth-place finish in the 400y free relay a blistering time of 2:54.66.
The sixth and final session of the 2003 NCAA Men's Swimming Championships takes place on Saturday night and it will start at 7 pm (CST) from the Jamail Swim Center on the University of Texas campus in Austin.
Day Three Event Competitor Prelims Finals Place 100 Freestyle Eric la Fleur 42.86 Luis Rojas 43.55 Lyndon Ferns 43.63 Simon Burnett 43.85 ------- 21st 200 Breaststroke Greg Owen 1:58.70 ------- 22nd 200 Butterfly Juan Veloz 1:43.21 Jeff Dash 1:45.88 ------- 10-Meter Diving 400 Freestyle Relay Ferns (44.36), la Fleur (43.48) 2:54.66 Rojas (43.35), Burnett (43.47)
*-denotes school record