Swimmers fail to continue NCAA trend

By Jacinda Sweet
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 1, 1996

For five of the last six years, the Arizona men's swimming and diving team has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships. This year saw that streak come to an end, as the Wildcats finished 14th. Favorites from the start of the three-day event at the Jamail Texas Swim Center in Austin, Texas, the Texas Longhorns took the team title with 479.0, while Auburn (443.5), Michigan (358.0), Stanford (312.0) and Tennessee (311.5) rounded out the top five.

Leading the Wildcats was senior Martin Pepper. The native of Salem, Ore., won the 100 butterfly in a time of 46.74 seconds. In last year's championships, Pepper finished eighth in the same event.

While it was a disappointing outing, the Wildcats had two relay teams finish in the top 10. The 200 freestyle relay team of Abe Wick, Justin Roth, Chris Brophy and Brian Matthews finished in a time of 1 minute, 19.50 seconds to capture seventh place.

The 200 medley relay team of Kevin Collins, Jason Hodder, Martin Pepper and Brian Matthews came in at 1:28.80 to finish in sixth place.

Divers Brian Spears and Andre Sabbah were also unable to continue their winning ways. Spears, the Pacific 10 Conference diver of the year, finished 14th in the 10-meter platform diving competition, 19th in the three-meter springboard competition, and 22nd in the one-meter springboard competition.

Sabbah, a 1995 honorable mention All-American, came in 23rd in the three-meter springboard.