Now ranked no. 16 and 17, mens and women’s swimming look to take down top ranked Stanford

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UA swim athlete Katrina Konopka dives into her lap lane.

The swim season started off with a huge splash for both the Arizona men’s and women’s teams after being ranked No. 16 and No. 17, respectively, in the latest NCAA poll after performing well in one of the largest and toughest tournaments in the country – the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational. 

There the men placed third out of nine and outswam No. 7 Southern California in what was one of their fastest meets all season. Seven Arizona swimmers achieved personal bests in the meet, and the team performed consistently at a top rate, finishing in the top five for most of their final events.

In the 200 fly,  Arizona took first and second with Justin Wright, who set the school record in the 200 fly last year, and Mathias Oh.

The men also swept the finals for the 200 medley relay. The women placed third in that relay and had some of their best times all year. Nine women achieved personal bests at that meet, and some of the fastest swims all year were seen from strong Arizona swimmers like Hannah Cox and Mackenzie Rumrill.

Cox, who specializes in long-distance freestyle and was an honorable mention for the All-American squad last year, is having some of her best performances in her career this season. She took second place in the 500 and 2,650 free in Austin, behind Texas swimmer and Olympian Joanna Evans. And not too long ago, in the USA College Swimming Challenge, she placed second in the 1,000 free, right behind five-time gold medalist and Stanford swimmer Katie Ledecky.

Cox will have another chance to swim against Ledecky on Friday when both the men’s and women’s teams travel to Palo Alto to compete in what could be their toughest meet all season against the defending Pac-12 champions: Stanford. 

Stanford is No. 2 in the women’s polls and No. 5 in the men’s, and if the Wildcats can out-swim them on Friday, it might be one of the largest upsets in Arizona swimming history. Stanford had four medal-winning Olympians in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 for the women, three of whom are still on the roster. 

For the men, Arizona will be Stanford’s toughest dual meet so far this season. The Cardinals have only swam head-on with Pacific University and Utah, who are both unranked teams. Arizona will be their first ranked opponent.

The upcoming meet has serious implications in the Pac-12 Championships and could mean potentially dethroning the former conference national champions in both men's and women's divisions.

The meet starts at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19 at the Avery Aquatic Center in Palo Alto and is available online via the Pac-12 live stream.



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