Nov 30, 2012 12:06 AM
AUSTIN, Texas - The Arizona men's and women's swim teams swept through the relays and broke three meet records to complete a dominant opening day of the USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships on Thursday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
"We got off to a bit of a sluggish start today and I attribute that to a full day of traveling the day before," Arizona head coach Eric Hansen said. "I'm really proud of how the kids came out tonight. To earn four relay wins and three championship records is pretty special."
The Cats opened the day when the 4x200 free relay team of Margo Geer, Megan Lafferty, Kait Flederbach, and Alana Pazevic swam to a time of 1:28.63 to break the meet record set by USC in prelims. Geer's leadoff leg of 21.82 got them off to a fast start, and all of the girls split under 22.6.
Arizona swept through the 4x200 free relay with the men's team winning the event as well-just .05 off the meet record time, set by USC from 2010. The team of Giles Smith, Mitchell Friedemann, Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or, and Nicholas Popov went 1:17.95 to handily defeat USC, who finished second with a 1:19.37. All of the members of Arizona's relay recorded sub-20 splits.
Matt Barber swam an impressive race in the 500 freestyle as he finished third with a time of 4:16.62. Michael McBroom of Texas finished just ahead of Barber and Christian Quintero of USC with a time of 4:16.08.
Geer took silver in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.84, finishing just behind USC's Jessica Hardy, who touched in 21.83. Meanwhile, Tucson Ford's Christine Magnuson placed third in 21.91 for her second sub-22 of the day.
The Wildcats closed the night with two more relay victories. Lauren Smart, Ellyn Baumgardner, Megan Lafferty and Geer cranked out a winning time of 3:31.16 in the 4x400 medley relay, well under the meet record of 3:32.20 set by USC back in 2010.
Meanwhile, the men smashed the meet record in the 4x400 medley relay with an impressive time of 3:05.69, which bested the 3:07.03 set by Tucson Ford back in 2008. Arizona used a strong four legs with Friedemann, Kevin Cordes, Smith and Shapira Bar-Or each turning in best legs amongst the final field. Arizona's second squad of Michael Sheppard, Carl Mickelson, Miles Joye and Barber took second in 3:10.43.
(Courtesy: Arizona Athletics)