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Texas Takes Lead Into Final Day of Big 12 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships -- February 22, 1998

From UT - AUSTIN, TX - The No. 13 ranked University of Texas women's swimming and diving team won five of eight events to take a 592-572 over No. 7 ranked Nebraska after the second day of finals on Friday at the Big 12 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the Jamail Texas Swim Center.

Texas junior Erin Maher (Richardson, Texas) cruised to a Big 12 and school-record of 53.68 in the 100-yard backstroke. Maher's time met the NCAA automatic standard in the event, and it was the fastest collegiate time recorded this season. She broke the new Big 12 record she set in the 100-yard backstroke preliminaries on Friday morning (54.02), and B.J. Bedford's 1994 school record of 53.82.

"Coach (Jill Sterkel) told me a month ago that she thought I could do it, but I didn't believe her," said Maher. "This is a really big accomplishment for me. I was pretty relaxed in the morning swim and coming into tonight, I just wanted to swim really well and see what would happen."

Other Texas winners included sophomore Ariadne Legendre (Montreal, Quebec), who claimed 400-yard individual medley with a Big 12 record and career-best time of 4:18.57. It was Legendre's second 1998 Big 12 Championship in an individual event, as she won the 200-yard individual medley on Thursday night (2:00.03).

Texas sophomore Shona Kitson (Windsor, Ontario) won the 100-yard butterfly with an NCAA consideration standard of 55.64, and senior Vera Ilyina (Moscow, Russia) recorded her second win of the 1998 Big 12 Championships with a first-place finish on the three-meter springboard (582.10). Sophomore Laura Wilkinson (Spring, Texas) was second on the three-meter (578.95), followed by freshman Kelley Persinger (Bellevue, Wash.) with a score of 499.85.

The Longhorn 200-yard medley relay of Maher, senior Ashley Hudler (Houston, Texas), Kitson, and freshman Colleen Lanné (Tucson, Ariz.) took the conference crown with an NCAA automatic time of 1:40.46.