By Bryan Rosenbaum
Neethling wins three national titles
Arizona finished in sixth place, improving on its No. 9 ranking coming into the meet. The Wildcats finished with 185 points, behind Stanford, Auburn, Texas, Tennessee and Southern Cal.
Neethling, a sophomore from South Africa, won the 200, 500 and 1,650 yard freestyle championships, becoming only the second swimmer in NCAA history to triple in those events. He set numerous Arizona records - the fastest time in the 1,650 (and second fastest ever), the most-ever titles won by an Arizona swimmer in one year and became the winningest swimmer in school history.
Last year, Neethling won the 1,650 free as a freshman.
"I came here to get three titles, and I've achieved my goal," Neethling said. "I'm not happy with my times, but it's a win."
The 800 free relay team of Neethling, senior Chris Counts and freshmen Jay Schryver and Scott Gaskins finished second on Saturday, three-tenths of a second out of first place. Schryver finished fourth in the 200 free at 1:35.55 and sophomore Matt Allen won the 100 backstroke consolation final in an Arizona record time of 47.50. Senior Glenn Flint finished 14th in the 200 breaststroke.
Sophomore Chris Bundy finished eighth in the 200 individual medley, becoming the first All-American for Arizona in the event since Matthew Rankin did it in 1988. Counts set an Arizona record in the consolation final of the 200 IM, finishing second behind his brother Glenn from Stanford in 1:47.18.
The 400 medley relay team of Allen, sophomore Rob Henikman, Bundy and Schryver finished eighth in 3:13.42. The 200 free relay team of Schryver, Gaskins, Counts and Allen finished 15th.