Maddy Burt Beats Pac-12 Championship Times in Arizona’s Season-Opening Win

Grand Canyon vs. University of Arizona

  • October 15, 2022
  • Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, Tucson, Arizona (University of Arizona)
  • 25 yard, NCAA dual meet
  • Full results
  • Team Scores:
    • Arizona Men def. GCU Men 204-90 (exhibition aided)
    • Arizona Women def. GCU Women 219-76 (exhibition aided)

The University of Arizona opened its 2022-2023 campaign officially on Saturday by winning an intra-state showdown against Grand Canyon University.

After a short weather delay, the Wildcats rolled-through a rebuilding Grand Canyon team. Arizona had the three fastest finishers in 18 out of 32 total events on the day, though some of those won’t officially go down as wins because Arizona marked swimmers as exhibition in the last few events of the day. That includes 1-2-3 finishes by Arizona in three of the day’s four relays.

The Lopes did pick up two event victories in the men’s meet, though.

Women’s Recap

Team Scores:

  • Arizona Wildcats – 219
  • GCU Lopes – 76

The best early-season news for either Arizona squad so far are the performances of junior Maddy Burt.

After a 54.73 in the 100 fly at last week’s intrasquad, Burt swam 53.91 in the 100 fly to win on Saturday. Not only is that a season-best for her, but it’s faster than she swam for 19th place at last year’s Pac-12 Championships (54.11).

Burt’s performance cycle was way out of whack last season. After a 58.02 in the 100 fly in a January dual meet against Cal, she hit a personal best in the 100 fly in the team’s dual against Arizona State – three weeks before the Pac-12 Championships.

But her early returns this season are positive, dipping under 54 earlier than she has in any other collegiate season (she had a best of 53.69 in high school).

Burt also finished 2nd in the 100 free in 50.55, which is a new lifetime best for her.

She was one of four Arizona women to pick up two individual victories on the day. Freshman Kelly Wetteland won the first two races of her young career, leading the way in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.61) and 200 breaststroke (2:19.39). Jade Nesser, who scored 36 out of Arizona’s 37 points in breaststroke races at last year’s Pac-12 Championships transferred to Cal in the offseason, so finding her replacement at the top of the breaststroke group is a priority for Arizona.

Julia Heimstead also won a pair of races, leading the women’s 200 fly in 1:59.13 and the 100 free in 50.51. She was .04 better than Burt in that 100 free, though Burt was exhibitioned.

Heimstead and Burt both swam on the meet-ending 200 free relay for Arizona. Heimstead led off in 23.49, Alyssa Schwengel split 22.83, Burt split 22.68, and freshman anchor Riley Botton split 22.55. Their winning time of 1:31.55 ranks them 3rd in the Pac-12 this season out of six teams with official results in the event so far. Arizona has a young core of women’s sprinters that will open the page on the next chapter of Wildcat swimming.

All-American diver Delaney Schnell, who returned for a 5th year this season, swept the springboard diving events.

Grand Canyon’s top performer was Emily Muteti, who placed 3rd in the 50 free (23.77). She also anchored Grand Canyon’s 4th-place 200 medley relay in a split of 23.29. That relay, which finished in 1:43.94, leads the WAC this season by two-and-a-half seconds.

Grand Canyon’s Paula Moreno finished 2nd behind Burt in the women’s 100 fly (55.72). For the Spanish freshman, that’s a new lifetime best swim after opening her season in 57.52 at the intermountain shootout two weeks ago.

Men’s Recap

Team Scores:

  • Arizona Wildcats – 204
  • Grand Canyon Lopes – 90

The Arizona men are searching for a new identity this season after their only NCAA scorer in swimming Brooks Fail graduated and took a job as an assistant coach at USC.

Through meet one, the standout is breaststroker Ryan Foote, who swam a 55.85 to win the 100 breaststroke on Saturday. He out-touched teammate Daniel Young (56.01); both were 55.9s at the team’s intrasquad a week earlier, though Young won that race.

Foote also split 24.07 on the breaststroke leg of Arizona’s winning 200 medley relay. Young was a second slower in 25.03.

At least four event wins went to Arizona freshmen on the day. Billy Oates won the 100 back in 49.58 and the 100 fly in 48.77 (exhibition). He also split 20.52 on the leadoff leg of Arizona’s “B” 200 free relay that placed 2nd.

Those swims were all much faster, where applicable, than he swam at the intrasquad: 21.26 in the 50 free and 50.16 in the 100 back.

Haakon Naughton, a less-heralded recruit than Oates out of Minnesota, also picked up his first collegiate win with a 1:48.25 in the 200 fly. His lifetime best in the event is 1:47.40.

Another freshman winner for the Wildcats was Hayden Ghufran, who led the field in the 500 free in 4:33.41. He out-battled his training partner Beck Parnham, a sophomore, by .07 seconds after Parnham led the way for the first 450 yards. A big finishing kick and final split of 25.33 gave Ghufran the win.

Hunter Ingram kicked off his senior season with Arizona by grabbing two victories. He won the 200 free by almost two seconds in 1:37.87. That’s a positive sign for him after opening his junior campaign with times of 1:41 and 1:42 in fall semester dual meets. He placed 13th in the 200 free at last year’s Pac-12 Championships.

Ingram later won the 100 free in 44.93.

Grand Canyon won two events without the help of exhibitions, both coming on the men’s side. Sam Jennings topped the field in the 200 backstroke in 1:52.33. His personal best from last year’s mid-season invite is 1:46.6, but he is a notoriously-big taperer (he was 1:55-1:53-1:54 in dual meets leading up to that invite last year).

One men’s event later, Jonathan Rom won the 200 breaststroke in 2:02.41. With Arizona’s best breaststrokers being sprint-oriented, Rom was four-and-a-half seconds better than runner-up Young (2:06.82). Rom is a 21-year old freshman from Israel. He won three medals at the summer’s Israeli Open Championships.

Former LSU swimmer Mason Nyboer also picked up a win in his Arizona debut, winning the 1000 free in 9:23.01. He was 33 seconds better than the next-fastest performer.

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1 year ago

Jade Nesser, who scored 36 out of Arizona’s 37 points in breaststroke races at last year’s Pac-12 Championships transferred to Cal in the offseason, so finding her replacement at the top of the breaststroke group is a priority for Arizona.”

So, a Tucson swimmer in the portal with times faster than all the UA breaststrokers, expressed an interest in swimming for them. Crickets.

Augie needs firing.

1 year ago

Need the SC invite recap when you get a chance.

Reply to  Taa
1 year ago

^^I’m on that! It will be up soon 🙂

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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