Arizona’s highly-ranked recruiting classes were on full display in their season-opening wins against UNLV and Washington State, with freshmen combining for 12 individual wins.
The women’s meet was a triangular, with Arizona hosting Pac-12 foes Washington State and the Mountain West’s UNLV.
Rookie Sarah Shimomura wasted no time in getting her first varsity win, taking the opening individual event. Shimomura was 10:14.41 to win the 1000 free, leading a 1-2 punch for the Wildcats.
Shimomura would return to win the 500 free later on in 4:57.40, with fellow freshman Daniela Georges taking second in 4:58.92.
A pair of other freshmen had big impacts for Arizona, whose recruiting class ranked #3 in the nation in our summer rankings.
Top-20 prospect Katrina Konopka very nearly pulled off a sprint sweep in her first collegiate action. She won the 50 free in 22.99, blowing out the field by more than half a second. She only missed another win by .06, going 50.71 in the 100 free but falling to senior teammate Taylor Schick (50.65).
On top of that, freshmen went 1-2 in both the 100 back and 100 fly for ‘Zona.
Annie Ochitwa won the 100 back. She was 54.57 with classmate Taylor Garcia second in 55.36. Late in the meet, Garcia took the 100 fly in 55.39 with fellow freshman Mackenzie Rumrill (55.74) second.
Arizona got predictably dominant results from its top two upperclassmen as well. Bonnie Brandon doubled (200 free in 1:48.79, 200 back in 1:58.64) and Emma Schoettmer swept the breaststrokes (1:02.35 in the 100 and 2:14.17 in the 200).
Washington State’s top performer was Elise Locke, who nearly swept the butterfly events. She went 2:01.82 to top the 200 fly, then finished just behind Arizona’s dual freshmen in the 100 fly at 55.81. That helped WSU beat out UNLV in their dual meet portion of the tri meet.
Washtington State’s Jasmine Margetts also won the 400 IM, going 4:27.69.
UNLV’s top performer was Michelle Troup, who took third in the 100 free behind the freshmen Wildcats. She was 51.18. She was also 6th in the 200 free and 7th in the 50 free.
- Arizona 182, Washington State 98
- Arizona 198, UNLV 94
- Washington State 185.5, UNLV 108.5
The men’s meet really saw Arizona’s freshman class – ranked #6 in the nation – take control. With a stellar senior class that included NCAA champs Kevin Cordes and Brad Tandy now out the door, it’ll be on Arizona’s young swimmers to keep them in the hunt in the Pac-12 and NCAA.
A trio of rookies won two individual events apiece for the Wildcats.
One of the best breaststrokers in his recruiting class, Blair Bish swept that stroke in his debut. The Wildcat freshman went 55.69 to take the 100 and 2:05.82 for the 200 win.
His classmate Mathias Oh managed to sweep the butterfly races to give ‘Zona a dominant showing in the short-axis strokes. Oh went 1:49.19 to win the 200 fly, plus 49.66 in the 100 (though he was techinally exhibitioned in that race as Arizona had built an insurmountable points lead).
Also winning twice was Grant Sanders, who took on the unique 200 free/400 IM double. Sanders was the only guy under 1:40 in the 200 free (1:39.42) and went 4:01.98 to take the IM late in the meet.
Before the first diving break, Arizona freshmen had already ripped off four straight event wins between Sanders’ 200, Bish’s 100 breast and Oh’s 200 fly. In the middle of that run, Chatham Dobbs took the 100 back in 49.70 for the 7th freshman win on the men’s side.
Also doubling up for the home team was junior Ty Fowler, who provided a veteran presence in the 1000 free (9:21.55) and 500 free (4:34.77).
UNLV’s lone win came in the 50 free, where their stud Dillon Virva was uncatchable. Virva was 20.69 and the Runnin’ Rebels went 1-2 with Kasey Foley putting up a 20.97.
- Arizona 197, UNLV 92