Swimmer's success surfaces

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sophomore transfer Ashley Tappin became the Arizona women's swim team's first national champion since 1992 when she won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.34 last Thursday in Austin, Texas.

She became the first to win a national championship and a Pacific 10 Conference championship in the same season since 1992 Olympian Crissy Ahmann-Leighton did it three years ago.

The Arizona women's swimming and diving team finished the first day of competition at the 1995 NCAA Championships in fifth place with 97 points.

"It's neat here to swim for Arizona," Tappin said. "I have a lot more confidence and I feel that when I get on the blocks I can win. (Assistant coach) Rick (DeMont) always makes you feel like you are the best, and that helps because swimming is a big mental game."

Arizona began the night with a fifth-place showing in the 200 free relay. The team of Shannon Hosack, Tappin, Heather Welch and Becky Gumpert finished with a time of 1:32.39 after qualifying for the championship final with a time of 1:32.20 earlier in the day at the preliminary session.

The Wildcats finished the night with a fourth-place showing in the 400 medley relay. The team of Welch, Gumpert, Elizabeth Sholzen and Tappin finished with a time of 3:41.70.

The UA men's golf team finished fifth at the Golf Digest Collegiate in Texas ending March 12.

Arizona shot an 891 behind winner Oklahoma State (860), Texas and Virginia (878) and North Carolina (883).

Ted Purdy was the leader for the Wildcats with 219. Matt Bergstrom and Gary Matthews both shot a 223 in a 12-way tie for 21st.

The success of Arizona athletics in the 1993-94 season rubbed off on the UA women's basketball team, which enjoyed its first winning season in eight years.

This year was a different story as a younger squad struggled to a 11-19 overall record on the season (6-12 in the Pacific 10 Conference), which ended March 11 with an 81-72 upset of Arizona State in Tempe.

Forward Adia Barnes, who was named Pac-10 freshman of the year, averaged 15.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Both marks were tops for a conference freshman. She is the first Wildcat ever to be named to such an honor. She was also named to the conference's All-Freshman team and an honorable mention for All-Pac-10 honors.

Center Mikko Giordano and guard DeAngela Minter were also named honorable mention to the All-Freshman team.

Arizona football coach Dick Tomey announced last week that Dino Babers will coach wide receivers this fall.

Babers, 34, spent last season at the same position for San Diego State. During that year, three SDSU receivers were in the Western Athletic Conference's top seven chart for receptions per game. He has previously worked at Purdue, NAU, UNLV, Arizona State and Hawaii. He played under Tomey at Hawaii from 1979-81.

The UA rugby team beat Ohio State 25-17 yesterday at Witter Field in Berkeley, Calif. They finished third in the first-ever California Invitational tournament.

The Wildcats' three trys were scored by John Vingelli, Scott Freibaum and Kini Knudsen. The game was the first meeting ever between the two schools in rugby.

Arizona fell to Washington 12-5 on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats lost a 5-3 lead late in the second half.

UA coach Dave Sitton said the atmosphere was ideal because of a million-dollar rugby stadium.

"The players sensed rugby can be extraordinary when framed properly," Sitton said. "They also realized they're capable of more than they've done."

Read Next Article