Oct. 18, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. – Following a successful 2011-12 season, the Arizona men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams open the 2012-13 campaign by hosting Hawai’i on Friday and Saturday at the Hillenbrand Aquatics Center. Friday’s action will kick off at 2 p.m. followed by a 10 a.m. start on Saturday.
The Cats will look to build off their many accomplishments from Head Coach Eric Hansen’s first season in 2012. The men's team earned a fourth place team finish at the NCAA Championship, while earning five individual national titles. The team of Adam Small, Mitchell Friedemann, Kevin Cordes and Giles Smith won the NCAA title in the 200 medley relay, while Austen Thompson (400 IM), Cordes (100 breast), Cory Chitwood (200 back) and Ben Grado (platform diving) each earned NCAA Championships as well.
His team garnered two American Records during the championship (Kevin Cordes in the 100 yard breaststroke and the 200 Medley Relay). Friedemann, Cordes and Smith will return to the team this season in addition to 2012 All-Americans Tommy Gutman, Woody Joye, Carl Mickelson, Matt Barber and Michael Sheppard.
Meanwhile, the women's team earned a fifth place showing at the NCAA Championships. The women’s team returns All-Americans Margo Geer, Kait Flederbach, Samantha Pickens, Ellyn Baumgardner, Lauren Smart, Chelsey Salli and Monica Drake. Geer posted a team-high seven All-American honors, while recording a new school record in the 100 freestyle.
In total, the men and women combined for 26 All-America Team honors. The men’s team returns 21 members from last year’s team and welcome 10 newcomers. The women return 14 from last season’s squad, while adding seven newcomers.
Last season, the Arizona men went undefeated in dual meets, including wins over five teams ranked in the top 15. The women posted a 9-4 overall record.
Hawaii already got its season underway with a sweep over BYU (Oct. 5-6). Senior Luca Mazzurana and sophomore Jasmine Alkhaldi both earned Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Athlete of the Week honors.
Mazzurana swept the butterfly events for the Warriors, while Alkhaldi posted first place finishes in the 200 and 100 freestyle. She also swam in four winning relay events to lead the Wahine a landslide victory over the weekend.
Senior Taylor Ritenberg also led the women winning three individual events in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and 200 IM.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.