It was a solid weekend for the Arizona men’s swim and dive team in North Carolina, as they finished No. 12 at the NCAA National Championships on March 24-27 at Greensboro Aquatic Center with a final point total of 106. This finish marked the best for the Wildcats since 2014.
Wednesday, March 24
The first event to kick off the National Championships was the 800-freestyle relay. Arizona was represented by sophomores Ognjen Maric and Hunter Ingram, junior Daniel Namir and senior Brooks Fail. The Wildcats finished the race No. 12 with a time of 6:16.34. It was such a great finish that the Wildcats earned an All-American Honorable mention.
Thursday, March 25
The second day of competition featured the 200-freestyle relay, 500-freestyle finals, 200-IM finals, 50-freestyle finals, 1-meter diving finals and the 400-medley relay. The 200-free relay team featured Maric, juniors Marin Ercegovic and Tai Combs and senior Noah Reid. The Wildcats finished No. 16 with a time of 1:17.18. Once again, the Wildcats earned an All-American Honorable mention.
Fail swam in the 500-freestyle and finished third with a time of 4:09.54, earning All-American honors. Sophomore David Schlicht and senior Sam Iida competed next in the 200-IM. Schlicht finished sixth with a time of 1:41.82, also earning All-American honors. Iida finished tied for No. 35 with a time of 1:45.40 in the preliminaries.
Ercegovic competed in the 50-freestyle and finished No. 20 in the preliminaries with a time of 19.44. Sophomore Bjorn Markentin dove in the 1-meter diving finals, finishing No. 26 with a score of 285.55 in the preliminaries. The Wildcats wrapped up the day with the 400-medley relay. Maric, Iida, Ercegovic and Reid finished No. 12 with a time of 3:04.96, earning yet another All-American honors.
Friday, March 26
The third day of competition featured the 400-IM finals, 100-butterfly finals, 200-freestyle finals, 100-breaststroke finals, 100-backstroke finals, 3-meter diving finals and the 200-medley relay.
Schlicht was back in action, finishing fourth in the 400-IM finals with a time of 3:39.89, earning his second All-American honor of the National Championships. Reid swam in the 100-butterfly finals and finished No. 19 in the preliminaries with a time of 46.04. Namir finished No. 20 in the 200-freestyle with a time of 1:34.07. Iida competed in the 100-breaststroke, finishing No.24 with a time of 52.62. Maric was up next in the 100-backstroke, finishing No. 26 with a time of 46.56.
Junior Eric Correa got his first taste of National Championship action in the three-meter diving final. Correa finished No. 31 with a score of 317.30. The third day of competition wrapped up with the 200-medley relay, with the team of Maric, Reid, Ercegovic and sophomore Ryan Foote finished No. 22 with a time of 1:25.02.
Saturday, March 27
The fourth and final day of competition featured the 1650 freestyle, 200-backstroke finals, 100-freestyle finals, 200-breaststroke finals, 200-butterfly finals, the platform diving finals and the 400-freestyle relay.
Fail had his best performance of the National Championships in the 1650 freestyle. Not only did Fail finish fourth, but his time of 14:31.38 also broke the University of Arizona school record by 6.22 seconds. Fail later swam in the 200-butterfly finals, where he finished eighth with a time of 1:41.82, earning his third All-American honors of the National Championships.
Maric competed in the 200-backstroke finals, finishing No. 35 with a time of 1:43.96. Ercegovic competed in the 100-freestyle finals. Ercegovic finished No. 30 with a time of 42.90. Reid was slated to compete in the 100-freestyle, but he did not wish to compete in the end and declared a false start.
Schlicht and Iida represented the Wildcats in the 200-breaststroke finals. Schlicht finished No. 20 with a time of 1:53.89 and Iida finished No. 40 with a time of 1:57.25. Correa was back for the platform diving finals, finishing No. 24 with a score of 302.10.
The Wildcats closed out the National Championships with the 400-freestyle relay. The team of Maric, Reid, Ercegovic and freshman Ryan Perham finished tenth with a time of 2:50.16, earning the Wildcats one last All-American Honorable mention.
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