Feb. 6, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. – After several successful performances in January, freshman Bonnie Brandon was named Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month and junior Samantha Pickens earned Pac-12 Diver of the Month, Commissioner Larry Scott announced on Wednesday.
Brandon earned nine first-place finishes and helped the Wildcats to a pair of team victories, including an upset of No. 3 California, in January. The Centennial, Colo. native won four events in a quad meet against Oregon State, New Mexico State and Northern Arizona to kick off the month. She posted winning times in the 100 back (55.70), 200 back (2:01.30) and 500 free (4:58.28) and was a member of the winning 400 free relay team (3:18:33). She followed it up with solid outing against Cal, winning the 1000 free (9:55.51) and the 500 free (4:50.57). In her final meet of the month, Brandon won both the 500 free (4:49.87) and 1000 free (9:53.53) against Stanford. She was one of just two Arizona swimmers to win multiple events on the day.
It was Brandon’s first monthly honor and the third award for the Cats already this season. Sophomore Kevin Cordes won the monthly honor in both November and December.
Pickens, a native of Murrysville, Pa., won five events in January, the first of which came at the Bruin Diving Invitational. She won the 1-meter event with a score of 575.95 after posting a preliminary score of 282.60 to lead the field at the break. She also helped the Wildcats to a split in dual meets against No. 3 California and No. 8 Stanford, sweeping the 1-meter and 3-meter events in both meets. In an upset of Cal, Pickens won the 1-meter event with a score of 343.73 and turned in a score of 289.35 in the 3-meter event. She added first-place finishes in the 1-meter (300.38) and 3-meter (317.85) events against Stanford.
For Pickens, it is her second monthly honor and Arizona’s fourth all-time. Pickens last won the award the same week last season. Former Wildcat Ben Grado is the only other Arizona diver to win the monthly honor.
The Wildcats, along with postgraduates from Tucson Ford Aquatics, earned a total of 15 gold medals at the AT&T Winter National Championships. In addition, they broke nine meet records, three American records, three school records, two U.S. records and an NCAA record.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.