Arizona vs. SMU, Washington

TUCSON, Arizona, January 4. THE No. 3-ranked Arizona men's swimming team opened the new year with a pair of wins in a double dual meet over visiting SMU and Washington at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center on Friday. The Cats downed the Mustangs, 149-111, and took care of their Pac-10 rivals the Huskies, 163-92.

The Wildcats won nine of the 14 events on the day and finished first and second five times.

Arizona's 200-yard medley relay team of Albert Subirats, Marcus Titus, Darian Townsend and Jordan Smith opened the day with a strong showing, posting the win with a 1:29.70 in the event. The effort placed the foursome nearly a full second and half ahead of second-place SMU and over four seconds better than UA's third-place team of Jake Tapp, Josh Arreguin, Ryan Richardson and Rob Iddiols. .

Matt Biel and David Pursley started UA's one-two morning in the 1000 free, with Biel taking top honors with a 9:32.09 and Pursley second in 9:37.72. The ensuing 200 free saw Townsend touch first in a time of 1:38.56 and teammate Nicholas Nilo right behind in 1:39.21.

Subirats continued the early Arizona dominance in the 100 backstroke with a winning time of 48.27, but SMU's Pontus Renholm broke the Wildcats stranglehold on the top two spots with a second-place finish in 49.87.

The Mustangs' Alex Hetland finally ended Arizona's winning streak in the meet with a 56.10 to take the 100 breast, followed by UA's Titus in second and Washington's Yonatan Cohen in third.

UA's Cory Chitwood finished first in the 200 fly (1:50.98) to put the Wildcats back on top in the next event, and the duo of Jordan Smith (20.71) and Nilo (20.80) went one-two in the 50 free to hand Arizona its third top pairing in the first seven events.

After the break Townsend collected his third first-place finish in the meet, winning the 100 free in a time of 44.62, and was followed into the touch by teammates Smith (45.41) and Nilo (46.09).

Chitwood added a second victory on the day with a 1:46.65 in the 200 back, while teammate Bryan O'Conner touched third in the 1:51.13. SMU's Hetland again ended UA's event win streak with a victory in the 200 breast (2:03.91), but UA's Brett Steninger (2:04.47) and Arreguin (2:04.64) placed second and third to help the Cats keep pace.

Jack Brown and Biel wrapped up Arizona's one-two punch in the meet in the 500 free, with Brown touching out his teammate Biel 4:34.95 to 4:35.05.

Washington's Evan Bernier handed the Huskies their first victory of the day in the 100 fly (50.50) and teammate Andre Blythe placed second at 51.42. UA's Subirats finished an exhibition swim in the event in 48.16.

In the final individual event of the day, the 200 IM, UW's Banker added to the team total with a win in a time of 1:55.25 to narrowly edge out SMU's Hetland (1:55.29) for his third win of the day. UA's Townsend and Brown swam exhibition times of 1:49.26 and 1:52.11, respectively, in the event.

SMU's 200 free relay team of Shane Milu, Thomas Fadnes, Luka Vrtovec and Renholms capped off the morning with a win in the final event in a time of 1:23.05.

Special thanks to Arizona for contributing this report.