By Jay Middleton
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday Feb 1, 2002
Swim team hopes to come back after road loses to Cal, Stanford
The UA swim team, looking to rebound after two disappointing road losses to Stanford and Cal, will try to turn things around this weekend against Texas in the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.
The defending national champion Longhorns are riding high after a strong January.
Following a loss to No. 2 Auburn in the opening meet of the season, the No. 3 UT men's team has bounced back with convincing wins over Georgia and rival Texas A&M.
The No. 2 Texas women's squad has not lost a meet since dropping two early-season contests to Southern California and No. 1 Stanford. They have blown out their opponents by an average of 42 points, including a 50-point win over then-No. 2 Georgia just three weeks ago.
The men's team will be trying to make a statement against the defending national champions.
Texas has several key swimmers still chasing an automatic qualification to the NCAA tournament.
Two of those swimmers are Tommy Hannan and Chris Kemp, both who gave the Wildcats trouble early in the season at the Texas Invitational.
Arizona will be counting on seniors Kris Souther and Roland Schoeman as well as underclassmen standouts Aram Kevorkian and Juan Veloz to come up big against the Longhorns.
"Everybody knows Texas has won national championships. They have a whole bunch of great swimmers," Schoeman said. "Our top priority for the guys is to stop focusing on the individuals on the Texas team and start looking at themselves."
The women's team is attempting to rebound from the losses by building on the positives to come out of last weekend's meets.
Freshman Artemis Daphnis and senior Jenny Vanker, each coming off of two victories in the Bay Area, will look to repeat their strong showing in the pool for the Wildcats, along with senior Sarah Tolar and junior Beth Botsford.
The Longhorn women bring a powerful one-two punch of their own to Tucson in senior Lauren Thies and Big 10 female Swimmer of the Month Erin Phenix.
One of the most anticipated events of the meet will come in the diving pool, as Arizona's Omar Ojeda, fresh off his dominating performance against the two Bay Area teams last weekend, will face off against Longhorn Troy Dumais, two-time NCAA Diver of the Year.
This meet will mark the third time Dumais and Ojeda have met in competition. At the 2001 NCAA championships in College Station, Ojeda bested Dumais on the platform, but the Texan struck back on the 3-meter springboard, preventing Ojeda from taking home the national title in what Ojeda refers to as his signature event.
Dumais is 9-1 on the season, with an undefeated record on the 3-meter board.
The action begins today at Hillenbrand at 2 p.m. Competition resumes tomorrow, with two sessions beginning at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
A special ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. honoring the class of 2002.