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Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 20. IT looked like California superstar freshman Missy Franklin would roll to her first NCAA title with a win in the 500-yard freestyle at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships, but Georgia's Brittany MacLean responded with a blistering final 100 yards to track Franklin down and the NCAA record.
MacLean earned Georgia's fifth title in the event's history with a 4:32.53, morning her up to fourth all time in the event, ahead of former teammate Allison Schmitt (4:32.71). That performance also stands as the sixth fastest ever as MacLean joined Laura Conway (2006) and Schmitt (2009, 10, 11) as fellow Bulldog victors. Georgia is now tied with Florida and USC for second in 500 free wins behind Stanford (7). Schmitt also previously held the NCAA record with her 4:32.71 from 2011 during prelims.
Franklin, meanwhile, checked in with a strong 4:32.66 to move to fifth all time in the event with the seventh-best swim ever, finishing just .13 behind MacLean. That's not the closest finish ever as Florida's Nicole Haislett topped Tennessee's Leslie Vix, 4:43.36 to 4:43.41 by .05 in 1994.
1 MacLean, Britta SO Georgia 4:35.08 4:32.53
r:+0.76 25.71 53.08 (27.37)
1:20.71 (27.63) 1:48.54 (27.83)
2:16.30 (27.76) 2:44.25 (27.95)
3:12.01 (27.76) 3:39.55 (27.54)
4:06.72 (27.17) 4:32.53 (25.81)
2 Franklin, Missy FR California 4:35.62 4:32.66
r:+0.80 25.06 52.62 (27.56)
1:20.45 (27.83) 1:48.42 (27.97)
2:16.45 (28.03) 2:44.25 (27.80)
3:11.75 (27.50) 3:39.00 (27.25)
4:06.21 (27.21) 4:32.66 (26.45)
Georgia's Amber McDermott dropped a third-place time of 4:33.97, third fourth fastest of the night (see below) to move to 10th all time in the event's history.
Indiana's Lindsay Vrooman (4:36.06), Arizona's Bonnie Brandon (4:36.91), Georgia' Shannon Vreeland (4:37.30), Minnesota's Kiera Janzen (4:37.61) and Texas A&M's Sarah Henry (4:37.80) also battled in the championship heat.
Virginia's Leah Smith put up one of the most unreal consolation swims in the history of the meet with a stunning 4:33.75 to demolish the entire heat. That swim moved Smith, who was ranked ninth all time in the event, up to eighth overall. Meanwhile, that time is the 13th fastest all time in the history of the 500-yard free.
Texas A&M's Cammile Adams (4:38.38) and California's Melanie Klaren (4:39.25) took second and third in the B final with Klaren claiming some much-needed points for the Golden Bears.
Minnesota's Sam Harding (4:39.52), UNC's Stephanie Peacock (4:39.63), Georgia's Jordan Mattern (4:39.69), Georgia's Rachel Zilinskas (4:41.64) and USC's Chelsea Chenault (4:42.56) also competed in the consolation heat.
1. Georgia 86
2. California 57
3. Texas A&M 48
4. Stanford 40
5. Arizona 38
6. Tennessee 28
7. Minnesota 27
8. Wisconsin 26
9. USC 23
10. Florida 18
Results: NCAA Division Women's Championships: Day One Finals