Dec. 3, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas – The Arizona swimming team got off to a quick start today in the Texas Hall of Fame Swimming and Diving Invitational and never looked back. The Arizona men currently lead Auburn and Texas with 390 points while the women also lead with 393 total points.
To open competition, the Wildcat women’s 200 free relay team of Leone Vorster, Justine Schluntz, Emma Darlington and Ana Agy posted an NCAA cut time of 1:30.87 in route to claiming the relay event over Texas, Wisconsin and Auburn.
Jean Basson, the 2009 NCAA 500 free individual champion, proved he will again be the favorite in the event this year, claiming an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:15.22. Basson was over four seconds faster than the next best finisher in the event.
Jack Brown also turned in an impressive performance in the 200 individual medley, winning the race with an automatic qualifying time of 1:44.05.
Basson and Brown, the men’s team co-captain’s, had the only NCAA automatic qualifying times posted on Thursday for any team.
Over on the women’s side, Alyssa Anderson took home the 500 freestyle event with a “B” cut time of 4:40.05. Anderson is the reigning Pac-10 500 free champ.
One race that was just out of reach for Arizona was the 100 butterfly, but with UA claiming second through fifth place on the podium, its hard to fault the effort. Ana Agy claimed second with a time of 52.51, followed by Whitney Lopus, Jenny Forster and Erin Campbell. Dana Christ was seventh in the race as well. All times were good for NCAA standards.
Another race in which the Cats just missed out on the title but can hardly be disappointed is the 200 I.M. Five Arizona women posted NCAA consideration times led by Foster’s 1:58.72. Other qualifiers in the 200 I.M. for Arizona were Caitlin Iversen, Annie Chandler, Anderson and Andrea Bortizke.
In the men’s 50 free, Jordan Smith recorded a time of 19.54 to lead Arizona to yet another win on the evening. Smith finished eighth overall at the 2009 NCAA’s in the same event.
To close Thursday’s impressive performance, UA swept both the men’s and women’s 400 medley relay. The team of Cory Chitwood, Marcus Titus, A.J. Tipton and Joel Greenshields had a first place time of 3:10.34 to qualify for NCAA’s.
The women’s team of Ana Agy, Chandler, Whitney Lopus and Justine Schluntz won their respective relay with a time of 3:34.34. UA still holds the American record in the 400 medley relay and only lost one member off the 2009 foursome from last season.
For the day, Arizona ripped off a remarkable 34 NCAA consideration times and two NCAA automatic qualifying times.
The Texas Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame Invitational continues Friday at 10 a.m. Central at UT’s Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.