TUCSON, Ariz. – The senior class of the Arizona swimming and diving team went out with a bang on Saturday in their final meet at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. Both men and women were victorious in the dual with rival Arizona State. The men won 179-105 and the women won 203-92.
Six Arizona seniors earned first-place finishes on the day. Lauren Smart had two individual victories, in both the 100 back (55.08) and 100 fly (55.09). She also helped lead the Wildcats to a first-place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:42.07) along with Kait Flederbach and fellow seniors Ellyn Baumgardner and Megan Lafferty. Baumgardner also touched the wall first in the 100 breast with a time of 1:02.42, while Lafferty helped secure another victory in the 200 free with a time of 1:32.62. Other contributors to that winning team were juniors Margo Geer and Kait Flederbach as well as senior Monica Drake.
Other triumphant seniors were Chelsey Salli in the 200 IM (2:03.69) and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or in the 200 free (1:36.98) and 100 free (44.88). Bar-Or also led the men's 200 free relay to victory in a time of 1:21.29, which included solid performances by Mitchell Friedemann, Woody Joye, and Jeff Amlee.
The women got off to a strong start and never looked back, thanks to dominating swims by Geer and freshman Bonnie Brandon. Geer swept all three freestyle sprints, winning the 50 free in 22.81, the 100 free in 49.43, and the 200 free in 1:50.10. Brandon was able to sweep the distance freestyle events, winning the 500 free (4:49.52) and 1000 free (9:54.32). She also earned first in the 200 back, with her time of 2:00.74.
Emma Schoettmer and Ashley Evans gave the women's team two more victories. Schoettmer out-touched teammate Salli to win the 200 breast in 2:15.30, while Evans beat Sun Devil Tristin Baxter in the 200 fly (2:00.09).
The highlight of the diving events was junior Samantha Pickens. She finished first in the 1m with a score of 349.50, and later edged out Arizona State's Hailey Casper with a score of 309.75 to win the 3m dive.
In addition to the men's win in the 200 free relay, they were also able to get first in the 200 medley relay. Giles Smith, Kevin Cordes, Friedemann, and Amlee out swam the Arizona B team with a time of 1:27.87 in the win.
Individually, Cordes and Friedemann paced the Cats with two first-place finishes each. Cordes won the 100 breast (54.06) and 200 breast (1:59.26), while Friedemann won both the 50 free (20.55) and 200 back (1:46.71).
Ellis Miller, Kelly Moodie, Eric Solis, and Smith also concluded the day on high notes. Miller won the 100 back with a time of 49.37, and Moodie was victorious in the 500 free with his time of 4:29.56. Additionally, Smith won the 100 fly (48.62) and Solis won the 400 IM (3:59.43).
The swimming and diving team will have a several week break from competition before heading to Seattle for the Pac-12 Championships. The women swimmers and divers will begin competition on Feb.28. The men swimmers and divers will be split up, with the divers resuming Feb. 27 and the swimmers on Mar. 3.
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