- Six Tucson-affiliated swimmers were named to the 2013-14 USA national team last week: Matt Grevers, Caitlin Leverenz, Margo Geer, Clark Burckle, Kevin Cordes and Sarah Denninghoff, a Sabino grad who became an All-American at Texas last season.
- The Tucson Ford Aquatics program lost one of its assistant coaches last week when 2005 Catalina Foothills state champion Bryan O’Connor accepted a position with the ADN Project in Caserta, Italy. He will help coach Italy’s elite-level swimmers. O’Connor was a three-time All-American at Arizona in 2009 after making the Wildcat roster as a walk-on. Talk about a success story.
- At the Southern Arizona Roadrunners annual Labor Day run through Saguaro National Park last week, a hilly, eight-mile challenge, one of the top 40-over female finishers was Cindy Schnell. Ring a bell? She is the mother of USA National Junior, 14-15, platform diving champion Delaney Schnell. Cindy ran the course in 1 hour 13 minutes 52 seconds. Good genes, huh? Delaney will be the headliner in the Junior Pan American Diving Championships Sept. 26-29 at Hillenbrand Aquatics Center.
- The once-prominent Arizona National Golf Course, former home of UA men’s and women’s golf teams, remains closed, part of the financial meltdown of the IRI Golf Group, a golf operation that also can be traced to the demise of Green Valley’s once-popular Canoa Hills Golf Course, among others here. The IRI Group, which is owned by Jeff Silverstein, continues to struggle. Two of his courses in the greater Charlotte, N.C., area were taken over by court-appointed receivers and appear headed for foreclosure, the Charlotte Observer reported last week. Arizona National is scheduled to re-open next month, which now seems tentative.
- While at Rincon/University High School, receiver Joseph Matthews was one of Tucson’s top football players in 2010. He caught 65 passes, 11 for touchdowns. Last week he caught four passes for 52 yards in New Mexico State’s opener, at Texas. He is listed as a starter for the Aggies; Matthews made four starts as a sophomore in 2012.
- It was sad to learn that Arizona’s five-time Pac-10 Gymnastics Coach of the Year, Jim Gault, died of cancer last week in South Carolina. He was 77. Gault began teaching gymnastics to Kerri Strug in 1983, establishing her foundation for a 1996 Olympic gold medal.
- Strug, who lives in Tucson and is the mother of a 16-month-old son, will be the guest speaker at the Old Pueblo Gymnastics Academy on Sept. 21. An open gym program, as part of National Gymnastics Day, will be held from 1:30-3 p.m. To participate, phone 628-4355.
Tucson swimmers dominate USA national team roster
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