Arizona men's swim and dive off to NCAA Championships
Arizona’s men’s swim and dive team sent 17 swimmers and one diver to compete this week at the NCAA National Championships at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind.
Three seniors, eight juniors, three sophomores, and four freshmen will compete on behalf of the UA and will be pitted against the top swimmers in the nation. Events will be held Thursday through Saturday and will be shown on ESPNU on tape-delay on April 10th.
“I’m hoping for a meet similar to how the women did,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “If we do that, I think everyone will leave here happy. We are looking for everyone to contribute.”
The Wildcats will be led by senior Carl Mickelson, juniors Giles Smith and Mitchell Friedemann, and sophomore Kevin Cordes, who each have top-ten times nationally in their respective events.
Cordes has enjoyed a successful season, and is in possession of the top times in the country in the 100 and 200y-breaststroke events, and said he is eager to begin racing again.
“I’ve been antsy the past few days,” Cordes said. “I’m ready to compete hard and am looking forward to the first race. I personally want to repeat what I did last year in the 100 breaststroke and also help out the relays as much as I can. I want to win some more relay national titles.”
Friedemann has the sixth fastest time in the country in the 100y-backstroke event and is an instrumental part of the men’s relay team.
The Wildcats are in possession of the second fastest time in the nation in the 400y-medley relay and the fifth fastest time in the 400y-freestyle relay.
Smith is currently in possession of two top ten times and has the sixth fastest time in the nation in the 100y-freestyle event, and the fourth fastest time in the 100y-butterfly event.
“Personally, I’m expecting to improve upon what I did last year,” Smith added. “I’d like to win an individual national championship and contribute in our relays.”
At last year’s NCAA Championships, Smith along with Friedemann, Cordes, and Adam Small set an American record in the 200y-medley relay. Smith also placed second in the 100y-butterfly event at last year’s championships.
“I’m looking forward to competing hard and winning some national titles, whether they be individual, relay or as a team,” Smith said. “We are looking to end with a big bang and I think the team is going to do very well. Our freshmen and sophomores have really stepped it up and our upperclassmen are ready to go.”
Mickelson will enter competition in possession of the fifth fastest time in the country in the 100y-breaststroke event. During his performance earlier this month at the Pac-12 Championships, he finished fourth in the 200y-breaststroke and 100y-breaststroke events with times of 1:55.09 and 52.88, respectively and was a significant contributor in relay events.
“I’m expecting great things from our team this week,” Hansen said. “This is what we have been working all season towards and I can’t wait to see what we can do.”