The Arizona swimming and diving team has only three days remaining before it must compete in its first meet of 1995, against Pacific 10 Conference rival Stanford.
Despite this fact, the Wildcats are still managing to keep an eye on the future, namely the NCAA championships in March. And UA head coach Frank Busch said 11 members of the Wildcat squad qualified for the NCAAs this year, the largest contingent Arizona has ever sent.
At the qualifiers, which were held at the University of Texas before winter break, six UA women Ä three automatically and three provisionally Ä qualified and five men qualified provisionally.
Trever Gray broke a school record in the 200m backstroke and Penny Pecastaing broke a school record in the 200m backstroke at the meet.
The Wildcats' chance to add to their list of qualifiers will come at the Pac-10 championships; the women compete Feb. 23-25 and the men do so from Mar. 2-4.
"The swimmers that did not qualify at the University of Texas meet ... will have a chance to shave their bodies again and try to qualify at the Pac-10," Busch said.
The Wildcats will be looking to juniors Chad Carvin and Becky Gumpert as the team's strongest swimmers. Carvin was voted NCAA swimmer of the year as well as the Pac-10 swimmer of the year in 1994. Carvin shattered American, U.S. Open and NCAA meet records in both the 500-yard and 1,650 freestyle.
Gumpert placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke at the Phillips 66 Summer Nationals/World Championship Trials. The junior from Oregon earned All-America honors during both her freshman and sophomore years. Gumpert also holds the school record in the 200 and 400 individual medley and the 200 breaststroke.
Busch refuses to give any predictions on how the Wildcats will finish, but he believes the team will be a force to be reckoned with in the NCAAs.
"We will have some successful times and I believe that we will hopefully be somewhere in the top
10," Busch said. "These kids will not be satisfied with anything else."
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Busch, as well as the swimmers, want more students to attend their meets.
"Our meets are fun," he said, "and if people like to watch dedicated athletes in a competitive atmosphere who are participating in a grueling atmosphere, then they would want to come to one of our meets."
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