Jan. 31, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona swimming and diving team hits the road for the final time during the regular season with a meet against Texas and SMU at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center beginning on Friday.
The action will get started with diving beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT followed by swimming at 5:00 p.m. The teams will also participate in an unscored meet on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. CT.
The meet will also be televised on the Longhorn Network with Olympic gold medalists John Naber (play-by-play) and Brendan Hansen (color analyst) handling swimming commentary. Kevin Dunn (play-by-play) and Kathryn Kelly (color analyst) will handle diving commentary. The television coverage will be live starting at 5 p.m.
The Wildcats are coming off a tough weekend of competition against nationally ranked conference foes, Cal and Stanford. The highlight of the weekend came when the Arizona women’s team defeated two-time defending national champions Cal on Friday. By defeating Cal, the women moved up a spot to No. 5 in the latest CSCAA top-25 poll.
The No. 1-ranked Arizona men feature sophomore Kevin Cordes, with the nation's top times in the 100 (51.10) and 200 breast (1:50.73). Both of those times are American records. The Wildcats also have the nation's top times in the 400 free (2:51.21), 200 medley (1:24.84) and 400 medley (3:05.69) relays. The Wildcats are also led by Mitchell Friedemann, who owns the top 100 back time in the nation up to this point with a time of 45.93 and Giles Smith, who has the nation’s top time in the 100 fly with a time of 45.81.
On the diving side, freshman Rafael Quintero has been incredible so far this season. He is coming off a sweep of all three events (1m, 3m, platform) at the highly competitive UCLA Bruin Diving Invitational and a pair of victories this past weekend against Cal. Quintero has 10 victories on the season up to this point.
Meanwhile, junior Margo Geer owns the top 50 free (21.82) and 100 free (47.16) in the country so far this season. In addition, her top 200 free time of 1.44.43 ranks fourth nationally. Senior Ellyn Baumgardner has the third fastest 100 breast time in the NCAA so far this year with a time of 58.86, while Lauren Smart has top-10 times in both the 100 back (52.57) and the 100 butterfly (52.49). Freshman Bonnie Brandon broke the school record in the 200 back earlier this season with a time of 1:51.49. The time currently ranks second in the country behind Elizabeth Pelton of Cal.
Junior Samantha Pickens just recently won the 1m dive at the UCLA Bruin Invitational. She put on an excellent performance by winning the 1m and 3m against both Cal and Stanford over the weekend. Pickens finished third in the 3m and fourth in the 1m at last year’s NCAA Championships.
The Texas men enter the weekend ranked No. 7, while the women check in at No. 10.
Following this weekend’s competition, Arizona will return home to close out the dual season against rival Arizona State on February 9.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.