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Thursday November 30, 2000

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Women's swim faces tough waters in Texas

By Lindsey Manroel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Final fall meet for Wildcats

The Arizona women's swimming team will be leaving Tucson's warm climate behind to travel to Austin, Texas, in hopes of roping in a big performance at the Texas Invitational tomorrow.

The No. 3 Wildcats, who are headed by Frank Busch, will partake in the most anticipated and challenging meet of the fall season.

"Outside of the NCAA Championships, this will definitely be the toughest meet that we swim," Busch said. "There are so many teams, and we'll be racing a lot of good teams with a lot of good athletes."

Beginning tomorrow, Arizona and its opponents - No. 1 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 California, Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Southern Methodist, Arizona State, Nebraska, Rice and Texas Christian - will face off at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in what many consider to be a preview for the NCAA Championships come March.

"It's a meet that has several good teams that will be in the top-20," Busch said. "For that reason, it's an excellent meet that we focus on from a competitive standpoint."

In the Wildcats' last encounter at the Texas Invitational, UA was able to qualify all their swimmers with NCAA standard times - a goal that UA will try to duplicate this weekend.

"We are hoping to achieve a lot of time standards," Busch said. "That's our main goal."

The Texas Invitational will be the Wildcats' final opportunity to qualify for the championships during their fall season.

Despite falling to UCLA, 159-140, on Nov. 12 - a meet that forced the Wildcats to hand over their No. 1 ranking to the Bruins - UA swimmers are not worried that a drop in the polls will affect their confidence.

"All the girls on the team know where we stand and know what we have inside us," 100 and 200 meter breaststroker Jessamyn Miller said. "We were excited to have a No. 1 title, but that comes with pressure. We work hard on confidence and aren't worried because we know where we'll be at by the end of the year."

With the absence of Olympic medalists sophomore Amanda Beard and freshman Diana Munz - who will not return until the second semester - Busch conceded that his team will not be at full strength but is confident that the rest of the UA team can swim competitively.

"We'll be fine," Busch said. "We'll be competitive with anyone there."

Lindsey Manroel can be reached at