Arizona Swimmers Sweep USC in Home Opener

TUCSON, AZ – The No. 2-ranked Arizona women’s swimming and diving team cruised to a 148-93 victory over the fourth-ranked USC Trojans at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, while the No. 4 Arizona men squeaked out a 124-119 victory over the No. 5 Trojan men.

For the women, Arizona freshman Amanda Beard led the way, capturing two event titles (200 IM; 2:02.91 and 200 breast; 2:14.09) and swimming the breaststroke leg of the first-place 400 medley relay squad. In addition, Beard’s time of 2:14.09 broke the school record in the 200 breast, bettering Becky Gumpert’s 1994 mark of 2:14.67. Also strong for the Cats was fellow frosh Beth Botsford, who captured the 200 back, in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:57.38.

Turning in a strong performance for the Trojans was freshman Michala Kwasny, who swam to an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:59.09, as she captured first-place in the 200 butterfly.

On the men’s side UA senior Ryk Neethling led the way with two second-place finishes in the 500 free; 4:21.02 and 1,000 free; 8:59.91, while sophomore Roland Schoeman captured first in the 50 free, clocking a season-best time of 20.15.

For the USC men, freshman Eric Vendt took home titles in the 1,000 free (8:55.41) and the 500 freestyle (4:20.88).

In men’s diving UA sophomore Ruben Vaca took first in both the one-meter and three-meter competition, pushing the Wildcat men to the victory over the Trojans.

The Wildcats next return to action tomorrow beginning at 11 a.m., when the men swim an exhibition meet against the SoCal All-Stars and continuing at 1 p.m. when the U of A women’s team will take on the No. 14 UCLA women.

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