Editor’s note: With several sports going on, Wildcat Wrap serves as a recap that focuses on the Arizona programs that we do not have the time to cover on a regular basis but are certainly worthy of recognition.
A pair of Arizona triathlon athletes earned top-10 finishes at the NCAA West National Qualifier this past weekend in Springfield, Mo.
The program qualified for the NCAA Championships in its inaugural season.
Freshman Dana Prikrylová led the way for the Wildcats with a seventh-place finish, while sophomore Kelly Lynn Wetteland placed right behind her in eighth.
Prikrylová finished the three-leg race in a time of 1:04:48.76, one minute and nine seconds behind the winner, Sidney Clement of ASU. Wetteland crossed the finish line eight seconds after Prikrylová.
Junior Lydia Russell placed 15th and had the top running time of the day, finishing the 5-kilometer leg in 17:48.
“Today’s race showed our team’s maturity and discipline with some cold and windy weather as well as a delayed start time,” said head coach Wes Johnson. “We were able to overcome that adversity and post faster times across the board from our last race, which I was very proud to see. As we continue to build this program to the best of the best, races like today shows how strong our drive is to grow and develop each and every day. We reached a new milestone for our program by qualifying to NCAA Championships in our first year as a program.”
Arizona will compete at NCAAs on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Tempe. The Wildcats can send seven athletes to the event.
Swimming and diving
The swimming and diving season gets underway this week when Arizona competes in a tri-meet against Wisconsin and Michigan in Madison, Wi.
The event takes place Friday, Oct. 20 at 2:00 p.m. MST and Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 a.m. MST.
The Arizona men and women are both ranked just outside the top 25 with each second in receiving votes.
Both teams return two swimmers who competed at last year’s NCAA Championships. The women welcome eight freshmen, while the men have three first-year swimmers.
No. 20 women’s golf continues its fall schedule when it tees off Friday at the Stanford Intercollegiate at Stanford Golf Course.
“This weekend will be a great test for our entire team at a course that will feel like an NCAA Regional,” said head coach Laura Ianello. “We have a lot of course knowledge at Stanford, but it will be an opportunity for these young ladies to focus on executing a gameplan and being committed to every shot. It’s a challenge that I believe our team is ready for, which creates a good mindset for all of us going into the weekend.”
Graduate senior Gile Bite Starkute is the lone Wildcat with previous competitive experience at Stanford Golf Course, having finished in the top 20 of the 2021 Pac-12 Championship.
Arizona faces a loaded field that includes 12 of the country’s top 25 teams. Among them are Pac-12 stalwarts Stanford, ASU, Oregon and USC.
The three-day tournament is Arizona’s second-to-last event of the fall.
Arizona concluded the regular season this past weekend by competing at the UVA XC 23 Invitational in Charlottesville, Va.
The Arizona men placed 23rd of 23 teams in the upper division race, while the women placed 12th out of 15 teams in the lower division race and 36th overall.
Ian Sanchez-Lopez was the Wildcats’ top finisher in the men’s 8k with a time of 24:22.8 to place 75th overall.
Sailor Hutton was the top performer in the women's 6k, finishing with a time of 21:28.1 to take 25th.
Arizona will next compete in the Pac-12 Championships on Oct. 27 in University Place, Wash.
Arizona’s Tiger Christensen was named Pac-12 Co-Golfer of the Week after breaking the program record with a 19-under for a 54-hole event at last week’s Jackson T. Stephens Cup.
Christensen and teammate Filip Jakubcik will represent their home countries of Germany and Czech Republic at the World Amateur Championship this week in Abu Dhabu.