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Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 22. THE final day of competition is complete at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships in Minneapolis. The highlight of the day proved to be Arizona's Margo Geer scorching the 100 free individually as well as her split in Arizona's 400 free relay.
Team Standings Entering Today
1. Georgia 369
2. Stanford 297
3. California 285
4. Texas A&M 226.5
5. USC 189
6. Tennessee 155
7. Florida 154
8. Texas 119
9. Minnesota 91.5
10. Arizona 84
Women's 200 back
With likely the best 200 backstroker in the world (Missy Franklin) bypassing the event to swim the 100 free for California, the door is wide open for an extremely competitive finale this evening.
Virginia's Courtney Bartholomew led the way in prelims with a time of 1:51.84, but will have her hands full with American-record holder Elizabeth Pelton cruising to the second seed with a 1:51.92. Just in the top two seeds, that's two of the top 10 swimmers all time in the event as Bartholomew ranks ninth with a 1:50.55.
Florida's Elizabeth Beisel (1:52.27) and Sinead Russell (1:52.37) will help the Gators make a big move on the final day after qualifying third and fourth. Both are title threats as Beisel ranks fifth all time in the event and Russell is 15th coming into today.
Indiana's Brooklynn Snodgrass (1:52.48), Auburn's Jillian Vitarius (1:52.83), Denver's Sam Corea (1:52.96) and California's Melanie Klaren (1:52.96) 1:52.96) also made the championship finale.
Auburn's Aubrey Peacock (1:53.05), Stanford's Annemarie Thayer (1:53.25), Texas A&M's Melanie McClure (1:53.36), California's Stephanie Au (1:53.45), Georgia's Rachel Zilinskas (1:53.46), UCLA's Madison White (1:53.49), Texas A&M's Paige Miller (1:53.71) and FGCU's Kira Toussaint (1:53.72) also earned point-scoring opportunities to comprise the consolation field.
Women's 100 free
Arizona's Margo Geer, the defending champion in the event, leapfrogged Megan Romano to become the third-fastest swimmer of all time in the event as she dropped a stunning 47.00 this morning. Coming into today, her top time had been a 47.14, but she cleared Romano's 47.01 as only Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (46.61) and Natalie Coughlin (46.84) have been faster.
Stanford's Lia Neal clipped California's Missy Franklin in their heat, 47.42 to 47.62, as the two qualified second and third. Both Olympians are going to have their work cut out for them if they intend on keeping Geer from the top of the podium for the second year in a row.
Florida's Natalie Hinds (47.63), Tennessee's Lindsay Gendron (47.66), USC's Kasey Carlson (47.69), Stanford's Maddy Schaefer (47.75) and Georgia's Shannon Vreeland (47.88) also made their way into the championship field.
Georgia's Olivia Smoliga (47.96), Penn State's Alyson Ackman (48.04), California's Rachael Acker (48.05), Wisconsin's Ivy Martin (48.06), Texas A&M's Lili Ibanez (48.12), Utah's Traycie Swartz (48.16), San Diego State's Anika Apostalon (48.26) and Texas A&M's Sammie Bosma (48.32) rounded out the B final field.
The most surprising outcome of the 100 free might just be Apostalon. She's been in three swimoffs this week already. On day one, she had a mixed 200 free relay/50 free swimoff where she leadoff for San Diego State against Indiana for a spot, while Texas' Ellen Lobb competed next to her for a spot in the 50 free. She beat Lobb, then watched SDSU beat IU. Yesterday, she had another swimoff against Denver's Sam Corea in the 100 back to make it back at night.
Women's 200 breast
The most anticipated head-to-head matchup of the meet, with a pair of American-record holders, is now official as Texas A&M's Breeja Larson (2:05.03) and Notre Dame's Emma Reaney (2:05.29) went 1-2 in qualifying.
Larson had held the record with a 2:04.48 before Reaney nipped it with a 2:04.43 during her conference championship meet, and for the last month the swimming community has been salivating over the chance of watching these two battle for the top prize in the sport. No one else even came close in terms of qualifying.
Texas A&M's Ashley McGregor will help the Aggies gain some serious team points after the 200 breast after qualifying third with a 2:06.99, while Stanford's Katie Olsen took fourth in 2:07.28.
UW Milwaukee's Emily McClellan (2:07.33), Georgia's Melanie Margalis (2:07.44), Minnesota's Kierra Smith (2:07.58) and Georgia's Annie Zhu (2:08.12) placed fifth through eighth to also make the A final.
Tennessee's Molly Hannis (2:08.35), Arizona's Emma Schoettmer (2:08.36), Utah's Stina Colleou (2:08.60), Virginia Tech's Weronika Paluszek (2:8.69), USC's Andrea Kropp (2:08.69), Virginia's Laura Simon (2:09.01), Duke's Christine Wixted (2:09.11) and Texas A&M's Sycerika McMahon (2:09.43) snagged the consolation qualifying spots.
Women's 200 fly
The defending champion, Cammile Adams, cracked 1:53 this morning en route to an easy speed 1:52.62 for the top seed this evening. She's ranked sixth all time with a 1:52.19, and could get under 1:52 for the first time tonight. She already almost beat the time (1:52.61) she used to win the title a year ago.
Tennessee's Lindsay Gendron set up the back end of an A final double, having already made the 100 free finale. Gendron clocked a 1:53.36, nearly moving into the top 15 all time in the event. Meanwhile, Kentucky's Tina Bechtel had a breakthrough swim for the Wildcats with a 1:53.72 to qualify third.
Stanford's Maya DiRado, who already swept the IM events with wins in the 200 IM and 400 IM on back-to-back nights, qualified fourth with a 1:53.83. Considering the type of magic Stanford has produce during finals, DiRado might just have enough in her tank to pick up a third title.
Texas A&M's Caroline McElhany (1:53.91), Louisville's Kelsi Worrell (1:53.98), Georgia's Hali Flickinger (1:54.43) and North Carolina's Meredith Hoover (1:54.55) snared the other A final lanes.
Georgia's Lauren Harrington (1:54.63), UCLA's Noelle Tarazona (1:55.03), Louisville's Tanja Kylliainen (1:55.06), USC's Jasmine Tosky (1:55.06), Florida's Elizabeth Beisel (1:55.83), Indiana's Brenna Maclean (1:55.85), Kentucky's Abby Myers (1:56.23) and UCSB's Andrea Ward (1:56.29) will compete in the consolation heat this evening.
Women's 400 free relay
Arizona's Margo Geer was definitely feeling it this morning. After her ridiculous time of 47.00 during the 100 free prelims, she chalked up a 46.53 split as Arizona's Bonnie Brandon (49.23), Geer (46.53), Alana Pazevic (47.90) and Grace Finnegan (47.69) led the way in qualifying with a 3:11.35. Geer was the only 46 split of the bunch this morning, although a few 47-lows went up on the board.
USC's Kasia Wilk (48.70), Kasey Carlson (47.62), Chelsea Chenault (48.25) and Jasmine Tosky (48.27) qualified second in 3:12.84, while Stanford's Felicia Lee (48.73), Maddy Schaefer (47.74), Julia Anderson (48.86) and Lia Neal (47.76) finished third in 3:13.09.
Georgia (3:13.15), California (3:13.50), Wisconsin (3:13.85), Florida (3:13.85) and Tennessee (3:13.88) also grabbed transfer spots into the championship heat.
Texas A&M (3:14.72), NC State (3:15.70), Auburn (3:16.26), Texas (3:16.31), Minnesota (3:16.34), Penn State (3:16.39), Florida State (3:16.45) and UCLA (3:16.84) comprised the consolation field. Texas and Minnesota scratched their individual 100 free swimmers to focus on the 400 free relay, and it paid off with B final spots.
Women's platform diving
Defending champion Haley Ishimatsu of Southern California set herself up for a title defense with 340.90 points during the preliminary competition. Meanwhile, Georgia's Laura Ryan is in contention for a diving event sweep after collecting 335.90 points. Ryan already has won the one and three meter events, and is in position for the sweep.
Tennessee's Tori Lamp (334.65), California's Kahley Rowell (330.35), Texas' Emma Ivory-Ganja (323.80), Miami's Kara McCormack (312.40), LSU's Cassie Weil (311.55) and Purdue's MacKenzie Tweardy (307.80) will join Ishimatsu and Ryan in the ever-exciting platform final this evening.
Indiana's Kate Hillman (306.00), Fresno State's Hannah Prigge (303.20), Kentucky's Christa Cabot (292.80), Minnesota's Maggie Keefer (291.85), Utah's Kersen Merry (291.15), Virginia Tech's Kaylea Arnett (288.20), Houston's Taylor Olanski (288.20) and Rutgers' Nicole Scott (286.50) will turn around and dive in the consolation finale shortly after the prelim session.
Results: NCAA Division I Women's Championships: Day Three Prelims