Arizona swimmers head to Washington for Pac-12 Championships
Arizona’s No. 10-ranked men’s swim team will compete this week at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, Wash. for the Pac-12 Championships.
Senior Carl Mickelson, juniors Giles Smith, Matt Barber and Mitchell Friedemann, and sophomore Kevin Cordes look to lead the team toward the top of the rankings to capture a Pac-12 title.
The men’s relay teams will also be competing this week after a successful dual-meet season and will look to claim some medals.
“I’m excited to see what we can do,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “This meet for us is just quality speed work leading into NCAA’s and we are capitalizing on the opportunity.”
Drew Gyorke / Arizona Daily Wildcat Nimrod Shapria-Or swimming the 200 yard butterfly. Nimrod was one of the 11 honored for senior day at the beginning of the meet.
Friedemann currently owns the second fastest time in the country in the 100y-backstroke event and was a productive asset for the Wildcats during the dual-meet season.
“Personally, I’m expecting some fast swimming,” Friedemann said. “About half of the team is fully rested this meet and the other half are going to swim through it and compete at full rest for NCAA’s. I, myself, would like to make sure I focus on the small details this week. I would also like to reach some of my personal goals and swim some top times unshaved.”
Going into the Pac-12 Championships, Smith holds the fastest 100y-butterfly time in the nation and is also has the fourth fastest time in the 100y-freestyle event.
“I’m definitely looking forward to just getting up and racing against the best guys in the country,” Smith said. “I’m expecting the team to just get up and compete. As for myself, I’m on a little bit of a different phase. I’m not going to be tapered for Pac-12’s, but I’d still like to see myself in the top three in the 100 fly. I’m also excited for the relays.”
Cordes broke two American records and enters the championships owning the nation’s top times in the 100 and 200y-breaststroke events.
Mickelson has the second fastest time in the country in the 100y-breaststroke, just behind Cordes. Barber and junior Kevin Steel also look to contribute in the championships, both possessing top 10 times nationally in their events.
“I think we will qualify a few more swimmers within the next few days,” Hansen said. “I’m looking forward to hard racing through the end of this meet and being our best for NCAA’s.”