Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women?s Swim and Dive Compete at Pac-10 Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 20, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week in the Pool ?-The No. 7 Arizona women’s swim team will travel to Long Beach, Calif. on Feb. 22-25 to compete in the 2006 Pac-10 Championships hosted by UCLA. The men’s and women’s diving teams will also compete in the conference championships, hosted by ASU, as they head to Federal Way, Wash. Preliminary action will begin each day at 11 a.m. (PST) and finals begin at 6 p.m.


A Look at the Wildcats ?- The women are currently ranked No. 7 with a 9-2 (5-2 Pac-10) record posting only two losses to No. 3 Stanford and sixth-ranked California.

Senior Marshi Smith is the only returning Pac-10 individual champion for the 100 backstroke (53.32); however, the Wildcats will return five of seven athletes from two first-place relays (200 and 400 free relays) to this year’s championships.

Senior Tiffany Manning is expected to add depth for the Wildcats on the diving side, as she has won 12 total sprig board competitions during the 2005-06 dual-meet season as well as the 3-meter and platform competitions at the 2005 Trojan Diving Invitational.

 The men’s diving team will feature senior John Collier who won a total of nine diving events during the dual meet season and the 1-meter event at the Trojan Invite. Against ASU, Collier defeated the defending NCAA Champion Joona Puhakka in the 3-meter competition.


Pac-10 Schools in the National Rankings: Five Pac-10 Schools are in the Top-25 national rankings according to the College Swim Coaches Association (CSCAA) proving that the Pac-10 has some of the strongest competition in the country.


Rank          School
3                                 California
4                                  UCLA
6                 Stanford
7                 Arizona
10               USC

Arizona at Pac-10’s History ?- The Wildcats have finished in the top-five at the Pac-10 Championships every year since 1996. The women last won the championships in 2000 with 1,125 points and tallied four individual champions. The women’s team has consecutively posted at least one individual champion each year since 1997, as 2002 was the most successful year tallying at total of 10 individual champions.

The past 10 years of Pac-10 Championships:

2005                             2nd place                           1,237 points
2004                             3rd place                           1,221.5 points
2003                             4th place                           1,013 points
2002                             3rd place                           1,151.5 points
2001                             2nd place                          1,289.5 points
2000                             1st place                          1,125 points
1999                             4th place                           441 points
1998                             3rd place                           1,060.5 points
1997                             3rd place                           1,090.5 points
1996                             4th place                           813 points
1995                             5th place                           860 points
1994                             7th place                           529 points


What Happened Last Year ?- The women completed competition at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships on Feb. 26 in Seattle, Wash. as they finished second with 1,237 points, a total of four conference titles and posted one new meet record. Mason took the first Pac-10 title in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:41.21 while Gresdal, Hayes, Smith and Cashion took the second title for the Wildcats in the 200-yard free relay, setting a new Pac-10 meet record with a time of 1:30.07. Cal set the previous record in 2002 with a time of 1:30.47. Smith was also the co-Pac-10 champion in the 100-yard backstroke as she tied with freshman Katie Arnold from UCLA with a time of 53.22. For the fourth and final conference title, the 400-yard free relay team composed of junior Ryann Hackett, Cashion, Gresdal and Nymeyer won with a time of 3:18.01.



Place             School                           Points
1.                     Stanford                         1,499.0
2.                     Arizona                           1,237.0
3.                     California                      1,088.5
4.                     UCLA                             986.0
5.                     USC                               954.5
6.                     Arizona State                926.5
7.                     Oregon State                504.5
8.                     Washington                  468.0
9.                     Washington State        324.0


Last Time in the Water ?- The No. 6 Arizona women’s and No. 7 men’s swimming and diving teams completed their 2005-06 dual meet season on Feb. 12 against intrastate rival Arizona State. The women won 12 of 16 events, downing ASU 181-107, while the men won 11 of 16 events to defeat the Sun Devils 172-123.


            “Today was a great indication of where we are at,” said head swimming coach Frank Busch. “We had a lot of fun today and it’s good to see a sign that we are on the right path. The kids feel rested and like they are on target for a good postseason. The entire coaching staff feels really confident with the way we are performing right now.”


            The women’s 200 medley relay team of seniors, Jenna Gresdal, Erin Sieper, Lisa Pursley and sophomore Courtney Cashion posted the first win of the day, finishing with a time of 1:41.68. Junior Whitney Myers swam the 1000 freestyle, winning with a time of 10:12.43. 


            In the 200 freestyle, Arizona took the top-three spots, as freshman Anna Turner finished first (1:51.81), senior Katie Willis was second (1:51.84) and Cashion third (1:52.07). Senior Marshi Smith won the 100 backstroke (56.04) and classmate Ryann Hackett finished second (56.38).


            Three Wildcat women dominated the 100 breaststroke as freshman Jessica Embick finished first (1:03.21), sophomore Jacquelyn Craft finished second (1:03.66) and Sieper was third (1:03.70). Pursley also finished first in the 200 butterfly (2:04.64).


            In the 50 freestyle, sophomore Lacey Nymeyer, Turner and freshman Lindsey Kelly took the top-three positions while Cashion finished second in the 100 freestyle (51.01). Myers won the 200 backstroke (2:01.18) as Smith finished second (2:01.85), Gresdal finished third and freshman Kathryn Thompson was fourth.


            Craft won the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:17.87, Nymeyer finished first in the 500 freestyle (4:54.65) and Pursley finished second in the 100 butterfly (55.20).


            Freshman Hailey DeGolia swam an exhibition heat of the 200 individual medley, finishing with a time good enough to take first place (2:04.70). The 200 free relay team of Turner, Nymeyer, junior Kathryn Elofson and Hackett swam as an exhibition heat as well, finishing with a time of 1:33.55.


            In the diving well, senior Tiffany Manning won both springboard events posting 362.53 points in the 3-meter and 312.07 points in the 1-meter.


            Senior John Collier split with defending national champion Joona Puhakka on the diving boards, as he won the 3-meter competition with 388.50 points and placed second in the 1-meter (326.32 points).


            Collier later got a chance to show his abilities outside the diving well, as he swam in his first collegiate event, anchoring the sixth-place 200 free relay after making a deal with coach Busch.


            “John and I made a deal at the beginning of the meet,” said Busch. “Since he was competing against the defending national champion, I told him if he won at least one of his events, I would let him swim in the relay. He was really excited and the whole team was going crazy on deck.”


            The men won their first swimming event in the 200 medley relay with a team composed of sophomores Albert Subirats, Ivan Barnes, senior Lyndon Ferns and freshman Ryan Richardson (1:28.57). Sophomore Matt Biel finished third in the 1000 freestyle (9:12.17), while senior Simon Burnett, freshman Nicolas Nilo and freshman Matt Barnard finished first, second and third in the 200 freestyle.


            In the 100 backstroke, Arizona took the top-three spots as sophomore Nick Thoman was first (49.05), senior Dave Rollins finished second (49.41) and junior Adam Ritter was third (50.48).


            Barnes posted his first individual victory in the 100 breast (54.79), while sophomore Darren Maxwell placed second in the 200 butterfly (1:50.50).  Ferns posted another individual victory for the Wildcats in the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.09.


            Arizona took the top-four places in the 100 freestyle with Burnett finishing first (44.53), Nilo second (45.49), Barnard third (45.55) and Subirats fourth (45.95).


            Thoman also won the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:47.03, while junior Nate Rothman finished second (1:51.04). Rollins won the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:00.92 and Biel placed first in the 500 freestyle (4:29.02).


            In the 100 butterfly, Ferns posted his second individual win (47.50), while Maxwell and Subirats finished second and third. Burnett swam the 200 individual medley as an exhibition race, finishing with a time good enough to take first place (1:48.42). For the final event, the 200 free relay team of Burnett, Ferns, Subirats and Ritter swam an exhibition heat, also posting a time that would have taken first place (1:20.92).


Arizona’s Next Action ?- The men’s swimming team will be competing at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships on March 1-4 at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, Wash.




Margo Geer P12 WOTY