Arizona swimming and diving fall to USC
Despite performing strongly in the relays and placing first in 21 events this weekend, the Wildcats fell to USC at McDonald’s Swim Center on Friday and UCLA at the Spieker Center Saturday in Los Angeles.
“I thought all in all, we swam quite well,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “We improved from Friday to Saturday. It shows me that we are in the right place with nationals right around the corner.”
Arizona’s men fell to USC 181.5-109.5 while placing first in three individual events and the 200y-freestyle relay. The men were led by senior Carl Mickelson, who placed first in the 200y-breaststroke and 400y-IM, compiling times of 1:58.07 and 4:03.00 respectively. He subsequently went on to tie USC’s Morten Klarskov for first place in the 100y-breaststroke, compiling a 54.77. Arizona’s freshman diver Rafael Quintero also brought home a first place victory, scoring 329.85 in the 3m dive.
“Carl Mickelson really stepped up in the 200 and 100 breaststroke,” sophomore breast-stroker Kevin Cordes said. “It was definitely the best performance of the weekend by our team. I was pleased to see everyone racing their hardest this weekend.”
Arizona’s women fell to USC 155-134 despite placing first in six individual events and winning both the 200y-freestyle and 400y-medley relays. Senior Lauren Smart, junior Margo Geer, and freshman Bonnie Brandon led the women with two individual first place finishes each.
Smart placed first in the 100y-backstroke and 100y-butterfly with times of 54.30 and 54.32 respectively. Geer continued to dominate the Pac-12, winning both freestyle sprinting events. She swam the 50y-freestyle in 22.97 and the 100y-freestyle in 49.17. Brandon placed first in the 200y-backstroke with a time of 1:56.35 and subsequently went on to win the 400y-IM with a time of 4:19.10.
“Bonnie Brandon did extremely well this weekend,” Geer said. “She had a lot of events on her plate and did really well in all of them. I think we did pretty solid all around. We started out pretty rocky, but fought back and battled. I was pleased to see people putting a lot of efforts into their events despite the cold conditions.”
Arizona Women Fall to UCLA
Despite having two more first place finishes than UCLA, Arizona’s women could not fend off the Bruins, as they fell 157-141.
Brandon and Geer continued to succeed for Arizona on Saturday, placing first in two events each. Brandon won first in the 500y-freestyle, compiling a time of 4:51.56 and subsequently winning the 200y-IM, swimming it in 2:02.25. Geer continued to thrive, winning both the 50y and 100y freestyle sprints with times of 22.88 and 48.55 respectively.
“I was pleased to see both teams battle,” Hansen said. “I liked how they were able to come back and perform better on the second day – that was indicative of the need for rest – but I like that they did well with what they had.”
Senior Chelsea Salli also contributed to the Wildcats’ cause, placing first in the 100y and 200y breaststroke events with time of 1:01.65 and 2:13.71 respectively. Other individual first place winners include senior Lauren Smart and freshman Megan Lafferty. Smart placed first in the 200y-backstroke with a time of 1:58.51. Lafferty won the 100y-butterfly, compiling a time of 54.30.
“Everybody fought hard this weekend,” Hansen said. “We should be getting better and better every day now.”