Matt Grevers Swims 45.7 100 Back, Fail Hits 4:15 500 Free at Arizona Invite

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Matt Grevers Swims 45.7 100 Back, Brooks Fail Hits 4:15 500 Free at Arizona Invite

The Arizona Wildcats swimming and diving team opened up their season Thursday night with the Arizona Invitational in Tucson with in-state foe Grand Canyon across the pool deck. 35-year-old Matt Grevers, chasing his third Olympic team next year, swam a 45.72 in the 100 back to win in his training pool ahead of Arizona freshman Ogi Maric (46.84). Grevers also won the 100 free at 43.11 ahead of fellow Wildcat Noah Reid.

Grevers just returned home from the ISL where he had the ninth fastest time this season in the 100 backstroke in racing for Energy Standard.

Leah Smith, who also just returned home from the ISL where she raced for the Tokyo Frog Kings, won the 200 IM at 2:00.21 ahead of Arizona undergrad Axana Merckx (2:02.85). The 200 IM was the only swim for Smith on the night who passed on the 500 free, an event where she won two NCAA titles in while at Virginia. Tonight, that 500 winner was Amalie Mortensen (4:54.22).

Brooks Fail won the men’s 500 with a 4:15.35, putting himself ninth in the national rankings thus far this season as only Stanford and Cal have raced thus far in the Pac-12. Fail also won the 200 fly with a 1:43.35, which puts him 14th in the nation right now as he was seeded to be an All-American last year before the NCAA meet was cancelled.

Arizona also welcomed back David Schlicht, who sat out last year with an Olympic redshirt, as he won the 200 IM at 1:42.97 ahead of Etay Gurevich (1:47.13). Schlicht, a native of Australia, is back training in Tucson in pursuit of what would be his first Olympics.

Canada native Faith Knelson made her Wildcat debut with a 1:00.60 in the 100 breaststroke as the Pan American Games bronze medalist could make a big impact for the Arizona team moving forward in her career.

Other winners on the night included Hannah Farrow in the 200 fly (2:00.11) and Ryan Foote in the 100 breast (54.79).

Kayla Filipek (50.04) won the women’s 100 free while Aria Bernal (55.60) won the 100 back for the Wildcats.

The Arizona men won the 400 medley relay with a 3:10.18 with the team of Maric (46.71), Schlicht (52.94), Reid (45.60) and Marin Ercegovic (44.93) while they also won the 200 free relay at 1:20.19 with Tai Combs (21.07), Ercegovic (19.62), Maric (19.69) and Reid (19.81).

Arizona’s women also took the 400 medley at 3:39.92 with Merckx (55.92), Knelson (1:00.14), Julia Heimstead (53.79) and Alayna Connor (50.07) while the 200 free relay won at 1:31.66 with Filipek (22.72), Connor (22.86), Mortensen (23.08) and Heimstead (23.00).

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