Dec. 8, 2002
AUSTIN, Texas - Despite numerous individual accolades, the Arizona women's swimming and diving team fell one spot Saturday to finish fourth in the 2002 Texas Invitational with 633.50 points. The Wildcat men finished in eighth with 196 points. Individually, senior Beth Botsford and junior Juan Veloz stood out for the Wildcats. Botsford won the 200y back event while Veloz bettered his own TI meet record by nearly two seconds in the 200y fly. Texas was victorious with both its men's and women's teams.
Saturday was another excellent day for the Wildcat women, especially for Botsford. Early in the day, Botsford won the 200y back event when she touched the wall in 1:54.67. This time was good enough for an NCAA automatic qualifying time. Later in the day, she placed sixth in the 200y fly in a time of 2:00.28, good enough for an NCAA "B" time.
All in All, Botsford automatically qualified into four events at this year's NCAA events while claiming victory in both the 100y and 200y back events.
Two other Wildcats established consideration times in two events on Saturday. Junior Jessica Hayes placed fifth in the 200y back (1:59.67) and 17th in the 100y fly (50.58). Each time is good enough to merit consideration from the NCAA's.
Likewise freshman Jenna Gresdal, by garnering sixth place in the 200y back (2:00.52) and 11th in the 100y free (50.68), staked her claim to the NCAA's with two "B" times.
Veloz has easily the most dominating performance of the afternoon. Fresh off his record-setting outing in the Central American Games, Veloz established yet another record in the Texas Invitational. Already the record owner in the 200y fly, Veloz topped it by nearly two seconds by touching the wall in 1:42.72, not only the winning time in the event, but easily an NCAA "A" time.
Elsewhere for the Wildcats, junior All-American Eric la Fleur posted his first NCAA consideration time of the weekend. La Fleur finished fourth in the 100y free in a time of 44.21, easily clocking an NCAA consideration time.
The Arizona swimming and diving teams now have nearly a month off much needed rest. Arizona's women's squad returns to the water to battle intra-state rival Northern Arizona in Tucson on January 10th. The Wildcat men do not step into the water until January 24th against Pac-10 foes Stanford and California.