Two more Wildcat swimmers qualify for NCAA Championships
Two more Wildcat swimmers have qualified for NCAA national cuts this past weekend, as Arizona split its dual meet with SMU and Texas at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.
The No. 1 nationally ranked men defeated SMU 165-134, but fell to No. 7 Texas 166-125. Arizona’s No. 5 women followed in similar fashion, demolishing SMU 230-58 while falling to No. 10 Texas 154-146.
Junior Ashley Evans and freshman Michael Meyer performed well enough to qualify for NCAA Championships, each setting season best times in their respective events. Evans finished first in the 200-yard butterfly event by nearly four seconds, compiling a time of 1:56.83 and subsequently setting a new personal best record.
“I’m glad we’ve got at least two more qualifications this weekend,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “I felt confident in Ashley Evans’ and Michael Meyer’s performances. Andrew Sovero could also qualify from his swims last weekend. He posted some really good times too. We are looking forward to the championship season.”
Drew Gyorke / Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona Junior Giles Smith in the men's 100 yard butterfly. He finished second in the event with a time of 47.82 seconds.
“I surprised myself a lot this weekend with my 200 fly, and I was really happy with it,” Evans said. “It was my first qualification, so it felt awesome.”
Meyer was given his first opportunity to compete as a Wildcat two weeks ago against Cal and has begun to create a name for himself, winning the 400IM in his first race with Arizona.
The South African native added to his freshman campaign, placing first in the 200y-butterfly event with a time of 1:44.38, the best time by an Arizona swimmer in the event this season. Meyer followed up with first place in the 400IM, besting teammates Andrew Porter and Eric Solis while compiling a time of 3:46.29.
“I think we swam really well for where we are at in our preparation for NCAA’s,” Hansen said. “We just need to rest. The work has been put in and now it’s all about attention to details.”
In order to participate in the NCAA National Championships, swimmers must perform well enough in their event and score a time low enough to qualify for either an “A cut” or a “B cut.”
“It was a real relief to qualify,” Meyer said. “Now I can focus on my training and won’t have any more distractions. My main goal is to score some points for the team at NC’s and maybe get a record or two there.”
Meanwhile, Sovero also impressed this weekend, earning his top time so far this year and first top finish in the 100y-breaststroke event this season with a time of 53.63.
“I think all in all, we did really great,” Evans said. “We had a lot of energy and it was a great environment to swim fast. Everyone took advantage of it.”