WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, March 18. CALIFORNIA's Liv Jensen posted the fastest time of the splash-and-dash 50 free for the win.
Jensen clocked in with a time of 22.04 to surface triumphant from the sprint. She is only the second Golden Bear to win the event. The only previous California winner of the 50 free was Conny Van Bentum back in 1985 with a 23.18. The victory also kept the crown in the Pacific 10 Conference. Arizona's Lara Jackson went back-to-back in the event in 2008 and 2009. Previously, Georgia had dominated the race with six straight wins (Maritza Correia; 2002-03, and Kara Lynn Joyce; 2004-07).
"It feels pretty good (to win)," Jensen said. "It's gratifying, and the best feeling in the world to look up and know that I swam that (fast). It feels really great to be able to swim for my team and do that."
Stanford's Betsy Webb nearly gave the Cardinal its eighth win in the event all time with a second-place effort of 22.07. Georgia's Anne-Marie Botek completed the podium with a third-place 22.14.
While the .03 margin of victory was close for Jensen, it didn't break the record for the smallest margin of victory. Dara Torres of Florida and Leigh Ann Fetter of Texas tied in 1988 with matching 22.38s, while Diane Johnson of Arizona (23.16) beat Krissie Bush of Stanford (23.17) by .01 back in 1982.
Georgia became the first team to clear 100 points with 109 overall. Stanford, meanwhile, closed the gap with 108.5 points. California (98), Florida (75) and Arizona (66) made up the rest of the top five.
Swimming World's NCAA Division I Women's Championships Notes Package Sponsored by Nike