UA women dominate Stanford and Cal
In meets against the top 10 men's and women's squads of California and Stanford, the Arizona women came up victorious twice while the men fell in both outings this weekend at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.
The Arizona women rolled to their fourth and fifth straight wins when they downed the No. 2 Cardinal 182-112 Friday and No. 7 Golden Bears 153-99 Saturday. With the two victories, the Wildcat women improved to 6-1 while the men fell to 2-4.
UA head coach Frank Busch said the victory over the defending national champion Cardinal was a solid win for his team.
"This a definitely a step in the right direction for where we want to be at the NCAA Championships in March," he said.
Busch said he expected two tight meets on the women's side, but is glad the swimmers proved they "surely have a good program."
In Friday's action against the Cardinals, the UA women began their domination early. In just the second event of the day, Wildcat junior Trina Jackson, freshman Katie Zimbone and freshman Caroline Killian finished in first, second and third in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
"The meets were a lot easier than we thought," Jackson said. "We mentally prepared for this weekend, knowing that we could definitely come in and win."
Also highlighting the Arizona win was sophomore Lindsey Farella. Farella won the 100 free (50.76 seconds), anchored the first-place 400 medley relay team and finished second in the 200 free (1:49.32).
Continuing their fury into the second day and leading the way against the Golden Bears was junior Denali Knapp. Knapp won the 100 backstroke in an NCAA qualifying time of 54.84 and also captured the first place notch in the 50 freestyle (23.34).
For the men's competition, the story was a bit different. By winning six of the last seven events, the Stanford swimmers were too much for the Wildcat men, finishing them off with a final score of 140-90.
In day two, junior Ryk Neethling led the Wildcats, winning the 1,000 free, 500 free and 200 free. Still, the Golden Bear men finished the day on top by a score of 136-101.
"The loss doesn't feel too bad for who we were against. Our main aim is always towards NCAAs, and this meet is just a bump in the road," Neethling said.
Keith Carmona can be reached at Keith.Carmona@wildcat.arizona.edu.