Swimming and diving teams split meet
The No. 2 Arizona men's swimming and diving team fell short in its attempt to become the best team in the country, losing to top-ranked Texas 206-147 over the weekend.
The Arizona men fell to 5-2, 2-1 in Pacific 10 Conference and Texas improved its record to 7-0.
The Wildcat men were led by senior Ryk Neethling, who dominated his last home meet in impressive fashion by cruising to victories in the 1650- and 200-meter free.
In the 1650, Neethling finished with a time of 15:02.88, which was 27 seconds faster than the second place finisher.
The meet was formatted like the NCAA Championships, with three sessions over a two day span. The format favored the Texas men, who brought over 30 swimmers to compete against Arizona's 18.
"This was a good showing for us," senior Matt Allen said. "They almost had twice as many swimmers, and we still swam tough in each and every race."
With only one meet left in the season, Arizona is tuning up for a run at a National Championship.
"We saw what Texas had, but they did not see everything we had due to the format of the meet," junior Scott Gaskins said. "Everyone's goal on this team is to be national champions. We are only as strong as our weakest link, and if we come together we have a great shot at beating Texas and hopefully bringing home a National Championship."
Other University of Arizona swimmers that were event winners include sophmore Roland Schoeman, winning the 50 and 100 freestyle, and freshman Jeff Dash, who took the 200 butterfly. Schoeman's time in the 50 freestyle was 19.87, the second 50-meter race ever recorded under 20 seconds at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.
While the men struggled against the Longhorns, the UA women's swimming and diving team (8-2, 3-1 Pac-10) had little trouble with Texas (2-5), winning 247-106. The No. 2 women's team had more success, with a sweeping victory over the twelfth-ranked Longhorns (2-5).
In the diving competition, UA sophomore Adrian David demolished the Arizona school record in the three-meter competition with a score of 520.70, 23 points higher than teammate Andrea Glass' 1996 record.
Leading the Wildcats were freshmen Amanda Beard and Beth Botsford. Botsford was victorious in the 100 and 200 backstroke, which concluded her perfect season in those two events, as she won all 11 100 and 200 backstroke events she entered.
Beard won the 100 and 200 breaststroke and, along with Botsford, led the Wildcat 200 medley relay team to victory.
"This meet was a tune-up that showed our freshmen how grueling the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships are going to be," senior Denali Knapp said. "A dual meet win is always a confidence builder, but our goal is to be at our best going into the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships."
Both UA swimming and diving teams conclude its season on Feb. 12 against rival Arizona State at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe. The ASU men and women are ranked eleventh and eighteenth, respectively.