WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, March 18. JUSTINE Schluntz knew she'd done enough to capture the Arizona Wildcats' third straight victory in the 400 medley relay as she emphatically punched the water immediately after completing the victorious anchor leg.
Arizona's Ana Agy (51.81), Ann Chandler (58.32), Whitney Lopus (52.21) and Schluntz (47.42) posted a time of 3:29.76 to give the Wildcats the threepeat in the event. The performance smashed the previous facility standard of 3:31.16 set by Arizona during prelims. The win also gave Arizona its fourth in the event all time, standing behind Stanford (9) and Florida (5) all time. Besides the past three years, Arizona has also won four of the past five 400 medley relays.
"It was really special to me, just because that was the first relay I was ever on and we won it all three times I was on it, so for me to win that my senior year, it was awesome," Agy said. "Winning that one shows our strength as a group for when we start the big day tomorrow. It sets the team up really well to compete at the top level tomorrow morning, and get a lot of girls to qualify."
Stanford's Betsy Webb (52.39), Julia Smit (59.04), Elaine Breeden (51.01) and Kate Dwelley (48.01) finished second in 3:30.45, also under the former pool record. Florida's Gemma Spofforth (50.84), Lindsey Rogers (1:01.38), Jemma Lowe (51.66) and Shara Stafford (47.81) took third overall. Spofforth's leadoff leg is the 10th fastest 100 back of all time. Spofforth now owns five of the top 10 times. She shares the top 10 with Natalie Coughlin, who owns the other five top times.
Notably, USC's Presley Bard moved up into an 11th-place tie with teammate Kristen Lahey with a 51.71 100 back leadoff for the Trojans, who took sixth overall in 3:33.68.
Stanford finished the first day of swimming in the lead with 142.5 points. Georgia stood a close second with 134 points. California (122), Florida (107), Texas A&M (106) and Arizona (106) comprised the other top six teams.
Swimming World's NCAA Division I Women's Championships Notes Package Sponsored by Nike