Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Swimming & Diving Wins Season Opener
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 20, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Oct. 20, 2012

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TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona men's and women's swimming and diving team defeated Hawai'i in day 2 of their season opening duel at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, collecting 32 first place finishes in 38 events.

Senior Lauren Smart (Charlotte, N.C.) led the women's team with two individual victories. She won the 100 back with a time of 54.96, and later posted a 55.06 to take the 100 fly.

Other women's individual victories came in the 1000 free, 200 free, 50 free, 200 breast, and 400 IM. Junior Ashley Evans (Phoenix, Ariz.) won the 1000 free in 10:26.72 and freshman Leticia Lelli swam to a 1:52.52 victory in the 200 free. Junior Margo Geer (Milford Center, Ohio) continued her dominance at the 50 free, posting a time of 22.75. Freshman swimmers Emma Schoettmer (Greenwood, Ind.) and Bonnie Brandon (Centennial, Colo.) kept the momentum from their day one success; Schoettmer got a win in the 200 breast with 2:13.58, while Brandon swam a 4:22.06 in the 400 IM to come out on top.

The women also experienced success in the relays. Seniors Ellyn Baumgardner (Fairfax, Va.) and Megan Lafferty (Upper Dublin, Pa.) posted a 1:42.69 in the 200 medley relay with the help of juniors Kait Flederbach (Carmel, Ind.) and Geer. The 400 free relay was won by Geer, Flederbach, Lafferty, and senior Monica Drake (Bloomington, Ill.) with a time of 3:23.59.

The diving team swept the day's two events; the men's 3m dive and women's 1m dive. Junior Samantha Pickens (Murrysville, Pa.) received her second diving victory of the weekend in the 1m dive, posting a score of 313.43. Freshman men's diver Rafael Quintero (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico) scored a 339.53 on the 3m dive to get his first win of the season.

Head coach Eric Hansen was very pleased to see the diving program's success early on.

"I was really happy with the divers," Hansen said. "I think the diving program is in a really great place right now, and they've got a great coach in Omar Ojeda."

Junior men's swimmer Matt Barber (Kingwood, Texas) earned first place with his 1:40.13 performance in the 200 free. Other individual men's winners were sophomores Eric Solis (Baltimore, Md.) and Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill.), junior Mitchell Friedemann (Allenton, Wis.), and senior Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or (Jerusalem, Israel). Solis won the 400 IM in 4:05.52, Cordes won the 200 breast in 2:02.63, Friedemann won the 100 back in 48.92, and Shapira Bar-Or won the 50 free with a time of 20.99.

The men won both relays of the day, posting a time of 1:29.93 in the 200 medley relay, and a 3:03.40 in the 400 free relay. The 200 medley team was made up of juniors Giles Smith (Baltimore, Md.) and Tommy Gutman (Jacksonville, Fla.) as well as Friedemann and Cordes. Shapira Bar-Or, Smith, Gutman, and senior Nick Popov (Karlsruhe, Germany) finished out the meet with their victory in the 400 free relay.

The women will next be in action on Friday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The men and women will then travel to Las Vegas to take on the Runnin' Rebels on Saturday, Oct 27 at 2 p.m.

For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.

Margo Geer P12 WOTY