clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wildcat Wrap: Arizona swimming and diving readies for Pac-12 Championships

arizona-wildcats-olympic-sports-preview-swimming-diving-beach-volleyball Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

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.

The Arizona swimming and diving programs will compete at the Pac-12 Championships beginning this week.

The Diving Championship and the Women's Swimming Championship run Feb. 22-25, while the Men’s Swimming Championship takes place March 1-4, all in Federal Way, Wash.

Arizona diver Delaney Schnell is looking to win the 1-meter and platform diving events for the third consecutive year. Schnell is a a three-time Women’s Diver of the Week winner this season.

Men’s diver Bjorn Markentin has his eyes set on the 3-meter and platform events, in which he finished runner-up and in third place last season.

Julia Heismstead leads the women’s swimming team, which is looking to improve on a fifth-place team finish a year ago. In January Heimstead was named Women’s Swimmer of the Year after winning the 100 Fly and the 200 Free in a meet against Washington State and Northern Arizona.

The men’s swimming team enters the Pac-12 Championship as the No. 19 ranked team in the country. Haakon Naughton, a freshman, took home the 100 and 200 fly in a meet against Cal earlier this season.

Arizona’s swimmers and divers will also be competing for NCAA A and B cut qualifying times.

Track and field

Arizona scored first and second-place finishes in the shot put at last week’s NAU Tune Up in Flagstaff, even as its top shot put thrower was representing the Wildcats at the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque.

Youssef Koudssi won the men’s shot put competition at NAU Friday with a throw of 19.16m (62-0.15). Zach Landa finished runner-up with a throw of 18.12m (59-5.5). The following day, Jordan Geist placed second in Albuquerque with a throw of 21.36m (70-1). Geist broke the UA school record earlier this year with a throw of 21.48m.

Arizona track and field returns to action Feb. 24-25 at the Ken Shannon Invitational in Seattle.

Beach Volleyball

The beach volleyball season gets underway Feb. 24 when Arizona hosts UTEP and Oregon at the CACTUS Classic at Bear Down Beach. The following day the No. 18 Wildcats play Colorado Mesa and Boise State.

Arizona is coming off a 19-12 season. The Wildcats return Alana Rennie and Alex Parkhurst, who went 15-14 on the No. 1 court. Sarah Blacker, who went 23-8 on the No. 2 court last season, also returns despite losing partner Maja Kaiser.

Kaiser’s younger sister, Elin, joins the program as a freshman. Elin Kaiser was a 2022 AVCA Junior Beach All-American Honorable Mention.

Men’s golf

The Wildcats placed runner-up at the John Burns Intercollegiate in Lihue, Hawaii last week, shooting 36-under par for the three-round event. No. 19 Arizona finished 18 strokes behind winner BYU.

The UA was led by sophomore Tiger Christensen, who shot 13-under to tie for sixth overall. Freshman Zach Pollo shot 9-under to place in a tie for 14th, while Chase Sienkiewicz shot 7-under to tie for 21st.

“I am pleased with how this week went for us,” said head coach Jim Anderson. “Any time you shoot 36-under par in a tournament impacted by weather, you have to be happy with how your team competed. Hats off to BYU on the win with a great week of golf, but I am extremely proud of our team. We executed our game plan, battled through adversity and played some of the best golf of the year. This week was a great opportunity for our team to grow and set ourselves for more success in the future.”

Arizona returns to action March 5-7 at the Cabo Collegiate in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Women’s tennis

Arizona traveled to Lawrence, Kansas this past weekend where it went 1-2, falling to Kansas and Texas Tech before beating UC Santa Barbara.

The Wildcats fell to the host Jayhawks 4-2 in the first match of the weekend, picking up singles points from Reece Carter and Parker Fry.

Arizona stumbled against Texas Tech, falling 4-0. The UA rebounded nicely against the Gauchos, winning 4-1. The Wildcats picked up singles points from Carter and Salma Ziouti and won two more singles points by default.

The victory marked coach Ryan Stotland’s 150th career win.

The Wildcats are now 9-3 on the season. On Tuesday they received a No. 31 ranking by ITA.

Arizona next plays at the Blue Grey Classic in Montgomery, Ala. Feb. 24-25. The men’s team, which was off last week, will also compete at the tournament.