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Swimming splits with Sun Devils in Tempe

JON HELGASON/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Undeclared freshman Emily Mason pulls ahead of the pack in the 100-yard butterfly at a Nov. 16, 2000 meet.

By Jay Middleton
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Feb. 19, 2002

The Arizona swimming and diving teams split the last meet of the regular season with archrival Arizona State Saturday in Tempe.

The Wildcat women, who entered the meet ranked No. 7, handily defeated the 10th-ranked Sun Devils, 199-101. Arizona won 14 out of the 16 total events on the women's side of the meet.

The only wins for ASU on the day came from diver Natalie Burgess, who beat Arizona sophomore Claire Febvay on the 3-meter board, and sprinter Sarah Baham, who edged out junior Maria Papadopoulou by half a second to take first place in the 100-yard butterfly.

For Arizona, senior sprinters Jenny Vanker and Sarah Tolar combined with freshman distance swimmers Emily Mason and Artemis Daphnis to sweep the freestyle races. Her 1:47.19 time in the 200-yard freestyle was a season high for Tolar, who also took the 200 IM race. Junior Beth Botsford and sophomore Jessica Wagner swept the backstroke and breaststroke events, respectively, for the Wildcats.

On the other side of the event, the No. 7 Sun Devils overcame the No. 8 Arizona men's team, 171.5-128.5. For ASU, senior distance swimmer Gavin Meadows and backstroker Ahmad Hussein both came up big, each taking first place twice in their respective events. ASU also won both the medley and freestyle relays, taking 28 out of a possible 34 points from those two events.

Senior Roland Schoeman continued his dominance of the Pac-10 schools by winning both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. Sophomore Greg Owen also won both of his events, coming in first in both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke.

"My 200 was the best it's been all season," said Owen of his performance. "The main thing that motivated me was the fact that it was ASU. Every year one of our main goals is to beat them. We'd rather beat ASU than pretty much any other team in the conference."

The Arizona divers also contributed strong performances on both the men's and women's sides, winning three out of four events. Despite her setback on the 3-meter board, Febvay was able to take first place from Burgess in the 1-meter event. The Arizona men's diving team continued its success, taking first and second in the 3-meter and sweeping the 1-meter. Sophomore Josh Anderson and senior Omar Ojeda each took first and senior Juan Veloz turned in strong second-place efforts in both events.

Next up for the Wildcats is the Pac-10 tournament. The men's swimmers get three weeks to prepare for the competition, while the women's swimmers and both diving teams head into action a week from Thursday. The women travel to Long Beach, Calif., for the championships, while the divers get to stay in Tucson for the event.

"We're right up at the top (of the conference)," Botsford said. "Everyone on the team should feel really confident going into the Pac-10 tournament, and into the NCAAs, for that matter."


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