|Date submitted: October 24, 2006|
|Gift: General Gift|
|Location on plaza map: C3|
|“…team unity is something that we have that most other programs lack…the sacrifices that we make for each other, and the love that we have for each other, knowing that when you’re behind the block, you’re not only behind the block for you, but for the 17 girls who are also there…” –swimmer Hailey De Golia (interview with De Golia , May,1, 2008.).|
The history of the University of Arizona Women’s Swimming and Diving team is characterized by a strong dedication to athletic excellence. The team is one of the most competitive swimming and diving teams in the country, and it is one of the highest-achieving teams at the university. The team dates back to the 1968-1969 academic year, when it gained its official status as a competitive athletic club. In 1972, after Title IX , a law that bans sex discrimination in federally-funded academic programs and activities was approved by Congress, Women’s Swimming and Diving at the U of A achieved its status as an intercollegiate sport. Soon thereafter the sport gained recognition at the national level.
The team’s achievements over the decades have been the result of persistent teamwork, outstanding individual effort, and the remarkable skill and dedication of its coaches. Head Coach Frank Busch won the Pac-10 “Women’s Coach of the Year” award 7 times, and in 1988, Coach Dick Jochums won the same title. The team’s athletes have individually or collectively won several NCAA, All-American, and Pac-10 titles. The women’s team won the only Pac-10 championship titles in swimming and diving at the university, which the team won in 2000, 2006, and 2007 (The men’s team has never won a Pac-10 title; however they did win the NCAA championship title in 2008).
In addition, during the 1999-2000 academic year, the team won the Sears Collegiate champion title. The team’s greatest achievement occurred during the 2007-2008 academic year, when it won the NCAA championship. Swimmer Anna Turner comments on the team’s NCAA championship title: “…it’s been years and years in the making, and it just finally culminated at the right time, with the right people, in the right place and just really finally came together…” (interview with Turner, May,1, 2008.).
Various athletes have won medals at the international level in Pan-American and Olympic competitions. Since its inception, the team has had 16 Olympic medallists, including 6 gold medallists, and 29 NCAA champions. The team has had 35 individual Pac-10 champions as well as 95 All-American athletes. In addition, Women’s Swimming and Diving has broken several national and international records. Swimmer Amanda Beard set 2 world records in the 200m Breaststroke in 2003 and 2004. Either individually or in relay competitions, 14 athletes broke 13 American records, 16 athletes broke 12 U.S. Open records, and 10 women broke 5 NCAA records. Individual athletes have won additional awards, including Whitney Meyer’s 2007 NCAA “Woman of the Year” title, and Lindsay Berryman’s 1999 Pac-10 “Women’s Diver of the Year” award.
Such success requires the enduring commitment of the athletes, which the team has continuously demonstrated throughout the history of Women’s Swimming and Diving.
Arizona Wildcats. 2007. Athletics Department, U of Arizona. 4 May 2008
Crevier, Brett, Richard Paige, and Matt Rector (UA Athletics Media Relations)
2007-2008 University of Arizona Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Media Guide.
DeGolia, H. Personal Interview. 1 May 2008.
Display Case. McKale Center Hall of Champions, University of Arizona. 1 May 2008.
Turner, A. Personal Interview. 1 May 2008.