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Arizona Women Head to Indianapolis for 19th Annual NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships

The Event: The Arizona women's swimming and diving squad will travel to Indianapolis, Ind. for the 2000 Division I Championships. The competition will run from Thursday, March 16 through Saturday, March 18 and Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis will be the host school. The 19th annual event, with approximately 240 competitors, will be held at the IU Natatorium. The meet will feature the nation's best swimmers and divers, including former and future Olympians. This year both the men and women's NCAAs will be contested in a short-course meters (25-meter pool) format, the first in the history of the Championships.

The Facilities: The championships will be held at the IU Natatorium on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis. The $21.5 million facility is considered one of the premier aquatics facilities for training and competition in the world and has been host to 10 Olympic Team Trials. The pool is slated for the 2000 Olympic Team Trials, August 9-16 of this year and has been the site of 67 American and seven world records. This year will mark the 16th NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships held at the IU Natatorium.

Arizona's Participants:
Lindsay Berryman        Diving
Amanda Beard            100, 200 breast, 200 IM, medley relays          
Beth Botsford           100, 200 back, 100 fly,
                        medley relays
Amy Bouta               100 fly, 200 medley relay
Adrian David            Diving
Trina Jackson           400, 1,500 free, 200 fly,
                        800 free relay
Rachel Joseph           100, 200 back, 200 IM
Caroline Kilian         200, 400, 1,500 free
Denali Knapp            100, 200 back, 50 free,
                        free and medley relays
Julie Manitt            100, 200 back, 200 IM
Emily Mastin            100, 200 free, 200 IM,
                        free relays
Jessamyn Miller         100, 200 breast
Maria Papadopoulou      100, 200 fly
Sarah Tolar             100, 200, 400 free,
                        free and medley relays
Jenny Vanker            50, 100, 200 free,
                        free relays
Erin Vogt               200, 400 IM, 200 fly,
                        400 medley relay
Katie Zimbone           200, 400, 1,500 free
2000 Pac-10 Championships: After winning every Pac-10 women's swimming title since the inception of the Championships in 1987, Stanford University's streak came to an end on Feb. 26, as the Arizona Wildcats captured their first-ever title at the 2000 Pac-10 Women's Championships at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool (Long Beach, Calif.). On the strength of three individual crowns Arizona tallied 1,325 points for the win, while after winning 13-consecutive conference championships, Stanford finished second with 1,197 points. California finished third (1,182 points), followed by UCLA (1,043 points) and USC was fifth (975.5 points).

"To say that I'm proud of these women is an understatement," Arizona head coach Frank Busch said. "This was a great weekend and hopefully we can keep the momentum going all the way to Indianapolis for the NCAAs."

The Cats won their first title on the strength of only three individual swimming events and one diving crown. The first individual title came from sophomore Sarah Tolar on day two, as she swam to victory in the 200-yard freestyle, in a time of 1:46.86. Freshman Beth Botsford, the American record-holder in the 200-meter (SC) backstroke, proved that she is among the nation's elite by winning the 200-yard backstroke on day three, in a time of 1:54.45. Also on day three, in the 200-yard breaststroke, freshman Amanda Beard claimed her first Pac-10 title by coming from behind in the final 50 yards to overtake California's Staciana Stitts for the win. Beard's time of 2:10.41 missed the Pac-10 record by less than nine-tenths of a second. The Wildcats had another strong all-around performance in the finals of the 200-yard butterfly as sophomore Erin Vogt, swimming unshaved and unrested, broke the Arizona school record in a time of 1:56.74.

Meanwhile at the 2000 Pac-10 Diving Championships held at USC, junior, All-American Lindsay Berryman was crowned Pac-10 champion for the first time in her career after winning the 10-Meter platform. After finishing second in the 3-Meter Springboard on day two, Berryman (434.40) led the platform competition on day three, from the beginning and held on for the win over Stanford's McKenze Murphy (412.15).

Wildcat Swimming Notes: The No. 2 Wildcats are seeking their first-ever NCAA women's swimming and diving title. The best women's finish in school history was second place at the 1998 NCAAs Arizona returns all but three points from last year's NCAA team (Angelique Rodriguez; 3-Meter Springboard diving - two points, 10-Meter Platform diving - one point) Overall the team lost six letter-winners from last year's squad and gained six newcomers. In addition, the team returns 20 letter-winners and 11 All-Americans This year's 9-2 overall dual-meet record was the second-best in school history behind last year's 10-1 mark Arizona boasts three Olympic medalists on this year's women's team; in fact all three women garnered gold medals at the 1996 Centennial Games in Atlanta (freshman Beth Botsford - gold 100m backstroke, gold 4 x 100m medley relay), (freshman Amanda Beard - gold 4 x 100m medley relay, silver 100m breast, silver 200m breast), (senior Trina Jackson - gold 800m free relay) During the 1 dual meet season Wildcat women broke two short-course American records: Botsford - 200-meter back; 2:07.36 - Texas Invitational and Beard - 200-meter breast; 1:06.67 - Texas Invitational In addition, three short-course yard school records were broken, Beard (100-yard breast; 1:00.64 - Texas Invitational), Beard in the (200-yard breast; 2:10.41) and sophomore Erin Vogt (200-yard fly; 1:56.74). Rankings: The UA women enter the meet ranked No. 2 in the nation in the March 9 edition of the Speedo America College Coaches Association Top-25 Poll. The Wildcats trail only defending-champion Georgia. The Pac-10 conference is also the most-represented conference in the country, as four of the top-six teams and five of the top-16 hail from the "conference of champions".

Pac-10 teams and their rankings (as of March 9, 2000): Arizona No. 2, California, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Southern California and No. 16 Arizona State. UCLA is not ranked in the top-25.

Last Year's Action: The host Georgia Bulldogs won their first team title, after accumulating 504.5 points. 1999 marked the first time in eight years a Pac-10 team did not come home with the NCAA Women's Swimming Championship. Conference teams did, however, finish in four of the top-six spots, with 1998 NCAA Champion Stanford (441) leading the way as the runner-up. Arizona (332) finished fourth at the Championships, followed in fifth by California (315), while Southern California (245) came in sixth. In all, Pac-10 institutions won four individual titles and four relay titles. Arizona will enter the 2000 NCAAs as the defending champions in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as the team of then-sophomore Lindsey Farella, junior Denali Knapp, freshman Emily Mastin and freshman Sarah Tolar swam to the first-place finish in a time of 3:16.49.

California senior Marylyn Chiang set a new NCAA, meet and U.S. Open record in winning the 100 yard backstroke (52.36) at the 1999 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Chiang also experienced a great deal of success at the 1999 Pac-10 Swimming and Diving Championships, winning individual titles in the 100 backstroke and the 200 individual medley. She also swam the anchor leg on the Bears' Pac-10 Champion 200 freestyle relay. USC senior Lindsay Benko closed out a brilliant collegiate career, winning the 500 yard freestyle at the NCAA's for the third time in her four year career. Head coach Teri McKeever of California led the Golden Bears to fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships and a third-place showing at the Conference Championships en route to winning the 1999 Pac-10 Women's Swimming Coach of the Year award. Under McKeever last season, Cal swimmers won one NCAA individual championship, and three individual and one relay title at the Pac-10 Championships. The Women's Coach of the Year honor is the first for McKeever.

Arizona's Lindsay Berryman and Stanford's Kim Powers were named Pacific-10 Conference Co-Divers of the Year for 1998-99. Berryman finished third in the platform, fourth in the one-meter and fifth in the three-meter event at the Pac-10 Championships. She earned All-American honors at the NCAA Championships following a fifth place finish in the one-meter and an eighth place showing in the platform. Powers won the Three-meter diving event at the Pac-10 Championships. She also finished second in the platform. Powers earned All-American status at the NCAA Championships following sixth place finishes in both the three-meter and the platform events.

Stanford's Rick Schavone was named 1999 Women's Diving Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.

Summer 1999; Wildcats Around the Globe: The Arizona men's and women's swimming teams recently completed a busy summer that showcased Wildcat athletes in action in four different countries, on three different continents.

At the 1999 Pan Pacific Games in Sydney, Australia two current Wildcats showcased their skills as members of the United States squad, while another competed for South Africa. The competition took place August 23-29, at the Olympic swimming venue that will be used during the 2000 Olympic Games.

Arizona senior Ryk Neethling, the 1998-99 NCAA Division I Swimmer of the Year, added to his list of accolades by earning three medals for his native South Africa. He started the competition on day one by claiming the bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle by clocking a 3:46.31 and followed with another third place finish on day three, in the 200-meter freestyle (1:48.17). Already the most decorated male swimmer in school history, Neethling garnered a silver medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle by swimming a 15:02.40, on the final day of competition.

Wildcat junior Jay Schryver also competed in this prestigious event by taking part in the 50-meter freestyle (23.24), 100-meter freestyle (50.82) and the 200-meter freestyle (1:51.69).

On the women's side, UA sophomore Sarah Tolar placed in all three events that she entered. Tolar's biggest accomplishment of the weekend came when she advanced to the finals of the 200-meter freestyle on day three and finished in seventh place overall, by clocking a 2:01.14. Day two saw Tolar swim a 4:22.39 in the 400-meter freestyle, to finish in 16th place and on day five she finished 10th in the 100-meter freestyle (56.77).

The most impressive performance of the summer came at the 1999 Pan American Games (August 1-7) in Winnipeg, Canada, as four Arizona swimmers hauled in a total of seven medals, while competing in only nine events.

Arizona senior Denali Knapp led the way for the Cats as she set two Pan American Games records and came away with two gold medals and one silver. The first record came in the 200-meter backstroke, as Knapp finished in a time of 2:12.48, ahead of Wildcat teammate, freshman Beth Botsford, who clocked a 2:12.95, to earn the silver medal. In the 4x100-meter medley relay Knapp lead off the race by swimming the backstroke leg in a time of 1:01.85, helping the United States team to a Pan American games record time of 4:06.08 and the gold medal. Knapp also swam to a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:02.45, while Botsford earned the bronze in the same race (1:02.48).

The highlight on the men's side belonged to senior Matt Allen who medaled in two separate Pan American events. Allen earned a silver medal as a member of the 4x100-meter medley relay squad, as he lead off with a backstroke leg time of 55.84. Meanwhile, in the 100-meter backstroke Allen finished in third place, after swimming a time of 55.86

Fellow Arizona senior Nat Lewis competed in two distance freestyle events at the games, finishing fourth in the 1,500-meter freestyle (15:44.15) and eighth in the 400-meter freestyle (3:58.99).

On the island of Palma de Mallorca, Spain (July 8-13) four Wildcat athletes earned four medals and joined thousands of athletes from around the globe, to experience the magic of the World University Games.

Wildcat sophomore Katie Zimbone acquired the first of her two medals, as she swam the leadoff leg (2:03.19) of the gold-medal winning 800-meter freestyle relay squad. Arizona teammate, sophomore Caroline Kilian swam the third leg (2:04.74) of that same relay to take home a gold medal of her own. Zimbone garnered her second medal as she finished third in the 400-meter freestyle, in a time of 4:17.30. Also on the women's side, freshman Amanda Beard, the American record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke, earned a silver in that same event, by racing to a 1:10.23.

The Arizona men were represented by senior Rob Henikman, who placed 10th in the 100-meter breaststroke, in a time of 1:03.94.

Cats on the Net: For the latest news, notes and results on not only the swimming and diving squads, but also the other 18 intercollegiate sports that the U of A has to offer, log on to the official athletic website of the University of Arizona

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