WESTWOOD, CA, November 29. IT came down to the last race. In the end form held as the No. 5 Arizona women’s swimming and diving team beat No. 9 UCLA 149-148, on November 19, advancing the Wildcats’ record to 3-0 overall (2-0 Pac-10).
Due to a disqualification in the 1000 freestyle for two Arizona swimmers and technical difficulties with the timing system in the 200 backstroke, the women were able to achieve a nail-biting victory over the Bruins. “It literally came down to the last relay,” said head coach Frank Busch. “The girls did an amazing job pulling through. We figured if we could win the last race, we could pull off a win by one-point.”
The Wildcats won eight out of 14 swimming events starting with the 200 medley relay. Juniors Jenna Gresdal, Erin Sieper, sophomore Whitney Myers and freshman Courtney Cashion won the relay with a time of 1:43.55. Freshman Lacey Nymeyer finished first in two events including the 200 free (1:50.56) and the 50 free (23.53).
In the 100 back, Gresdal won with a time of 55.23 and junior Marshi Smith finished third (56.17). Sieper took first place in both the 100 (1:03.72) and 200 (2:16.99) breaststroke. In the 200 butterfly, senior Emily Mason finished second with a time of 2:02.39 while Myers was not far behind in third (2:02.51). Mason also was second in the 500 free (4:52.89).
In the 100 free, Gresdal finished second (50.66) and Nymeyer was third (50.78). Senior Jessica Hayes and Smith took the top two positions of the 200 back as Hayes finished first (2:00.00) and Smith was second (2:01.00). (Times were inputted for this race strictly to reflect the order of finish as determined by meet officials).
Myers won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:03.03 and in the 100 fly, placed second (56.11) as junior Lisa Pursley was third (56.41). The 200 free relay team of Nymeyer, junior Ryann Hackett, Mason and sophomore Kathryn Elofson, won the race (and the meet) with a time of 1:35.20.
In the diving well for the women, sophomore Mary Yarrison finished third respectively on both the 1 and 3-meter boards. “It was certainly a character building day,” said head diving coach Michele Mitchell-Rocha. “We will have to build off of this experience to improve for next meet.”
The Wildcats will resume competition on Thurs., Dec. 2-4 when they travel to Austin, Texas for the annual Texas Invitational.