After day 1 at the Hillenbrand Aquatics, the Arizona men and women both lead the Longhorns. The women led 107-79, whereas the men held a slimmer lead at 97-89.
On the men’s side, Texas sophmore Jimmy Feigen won round 1 over Jordan Smith of Arizona, clocking a 44.64 to Smith’s 44.67. Arizona took care of business in the 200 breaststroke and 400 I.M, where they scored max points by going 1-2-3. The Texas men countered by taking the top 4 spots in the 200 fly, and 3 out of the top 4 in the 500 free. Texas’ Ricky Berens pulled off a big victory in the 200 backstroke by beating 3 of the top 10 ranked swimmers in the nation in the event, led by top ranked Cory Chitwood.
The big difference in the men’s scoring thus far has been in the relays. Arizona won the 200 free relay in 1:20.60 to Texas’ 1:21.04. In the 400 medley relay, Arizona had a mere half second lead heading into the final leg and another showdown between Feigen and Smith. This time, Smith was the victor and turned in a speedy 43.29 to break the race open over Feigen, who went a still respectable 44.17.
On the women’s side, the Arizona women have set themselves in a great position to close out the meet strong. The Cats hold a commanding 28 point lead over the Longhorns, despite the fact that the events that were swum on day 1 are the ones that resulted in their collapse against Stanford and Cal last weekend.
In the 1o0 freestyle, The Arizona women finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, led by Senior Justine Schluntz in 49.89. The lone Longhorn to crash the party was Karlee Bispo, who finished 2nd in 50.29 seconds. The most impressive team performance on the day came in the 200 backstroke, where Arizona took the top 6 spots. This is a disappointing result for Texas Olympian Kathleen Hersey, who swam nearly 5 seconds off of her season best to finish 7th. Ana Agy won the event in 1:57.81. Hersey did turn in an impressive time in the 400 I.M, where she won and cut over a second and a half off of her season best. Hersey finished 3rd in the 400 I.M. at last year’s NCAA championships.
The Arizona women also won both of the day’s relay, the medley in dominating fashion. The Arizona quartet of Agy, Annie Chandler, Whitney Lopes, and Schluntz finished in 3:40.35. Arizona took 2nd place, as well, with 3:42.68, with Texas’ top relay finishing in 3rd at 3:44.97.
Action will resume tomorrow at noon.