March 3, 2009
What: Pac-10 Championships
Where: Belmont Olympic Plaza, Long Beach, Calif.
When: March 4 – March 7
Arizona will be in pursuit of its remaining NCAA automatic qualifying times needed for placement for next month in College Station, Texas. Among those to watch for times include Nicolas Nilo, Joel Greenshields, Marcus Titus and AJ Tipton.
Pac-10 Competition This Year
Arizona had a conference record of 3-2 this year in the Pac-10. The Wildcats defeated California, Washington and Arizona State and fell to USC in Los Angeles and to Stanford at home.
Men’s Diving in Federal Way
Men’s Diving competed last weekend with sophomore Ben Grado leading Arizona. Grado placed fifth in the one-meter finals with a score of 339.20, fourth in the three-meter with 385.55 and runner-up in the platform finals with a 363.50.
Long Distance Jean
Junior Jean Basson has established himself as the Arizona men’s team top long distance swimmer. During the Texas Invite, Basson won the 500 freestyle with an “A” cut time of 4:13.10 (currently second fastest in the country this year) and finished runner-up in the 1650 freestyle. Basson is also the men’s top performer in the 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free and 1650 free.
A Titan in the Breaststroke
Marcus Titus currently leads the men’s team in the breaststroke competition. Titus, who is the UA all-time record holder in the 100 breast, holds a time of 52.97 this season in the 100. In the 200 breast, Titus leads the team with a mark of 1:55.92.
The men’s team has 14 true freshmen on the roster for the 2008-09 and even though they are inexperienced, the youngsters are certainly living up to the high expectations so far. Freshman AJ Tipton is UA’s top performer in both the 100 and 200 fly with times of 46.74 and 1:42.48, respectively. Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or looks to challenge in the freestyle competitions and Austen Thompson is holding his own in the individual medley events.
Top Sports Figure of 2008
Head Coach Frank Busch was recognized as the Arizona Daily Star’s top sports figure of 2008. Last season Busch won his first two NCAA titles in the span of a week, served as an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic swimming team and was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Bryan O’Connor has proven to be the men’s top swimmer in the backstroke competition this season. The Catalina Foothills High product is the Wildcats top performer in the 100 and 200 back and the 200 individual medley. O’Connor also has posted two NCAA Automatic Qualifying times with a finish of 1:41.48 in the 200 back and 1:43.96 in the 200 IM.
Arizona will next travel to College Station, Texas as it will defend its NCAA title won in last season.
DATE, START TIME, EVENT
Wed., March 4, 6 p.m., 200 Medley Relay 800 Freestyle Relay
Thur., March 5, 6 p.m., 500 Freestyle 200 Individual Medley 50 Freestyle 200 Freestyle Relay
Fri., March 6, 6 p.m., 400 Individual Medley 100 Butterfly 200 Freestyle 100 Breaststroke 100 Backstroke 400 Medley Relay
Sat., March 7, 6 p.m., 1650 Freestyle 200 Backstroke 100 Freestyle 200 Breaststroke 200 Butterfly 400 Freestyle Relay
NOTE: Preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. The preliminary events will take place in the same order as the finals listed above.