Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 23. GEORGIA put an exclamation point on its first team title since 2005 with an NCAA and U.S. Open record in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The American record went to the All-American squad of Arizona, who finished second, at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships.
UGA's Shannon Vreeland (48.20), Canadian Chantal Van Landeghem (47.79), Allison Schmitt (47.16) and Megan Romano (46.25) blistered the pool, and brought the crowd to its feet, with a stunning 3:09.40 for the win. That time beat the previous NCAA and U.S. Open record of 3:09.88 set by California's Hannah Wilson, Liv Jensen, Erica Dagg and Dana Vollmer in 2009.
The win is the sixth for Georgia in the meet's history, adding to wins in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2011. Only Stanford has won more 400 free relay titles (9) since the inception of the NCAA Women's Championships in 1982.
Arizona's squad of Megan Lafferty (48.30), Margo Geer (46.67), Kait Flederbach (48.24) and Monica Drake (47.42) raced to the American record with a blistering second-place time of 3:10.63. That swim eclipsed the previous record of 3:10.87 set by Stanford last year.
California's Elizabeth Pelton (47.78), Kaylin Bing (48.35), Rachael Acker (47.74) and Rachel Bootsma (47.71) turned in a third-place time of 3:11.58 as the two-time defending team champions finished the night in second overall.
Tennessee's Caroline Simmons (48.50), Faith Johnson (48.24), Kelsey Floyd (47.87) and Lindsay Gendron (47.46) concluded a remarkable meet with a fourth-place 3:12.07 that secured the Lady Vols third overall.
Stanford (3:12.19), Florida (3:12.96), Texas (3:15.11) and Texas A&M (3:15.39) rounded out the top eight. The historic swimoff for eighth place took a toll on Texas A&M, as the Aggies put together a 3:13.85 to win the swimoff ahead of Minnesota.
Georgia finished the meet with a winning team tally of 477 points. That gave head coach Jack Bauerle his fifth title, tying him with David Marsh in the women's coaching rankings. Only Richard Quick won more with 12 women's titles. Georgia is now tied for third with Auburn at five women's team titles. Stanford (8) and Texas (7) stand 1-2 in the history of the meet.
California, who won three of the previous four meets, finished second with 393 points, while Tennessee secured an unprecedented third-place with 325.5 points. That edged Texas A&M for third as the Aggies wound up fourth with 323.5 points. Arizona earned fifth overall with 311 points.
Florida (305), Southern California (291), Stanford (246), Texas (186) and Minnesota (141) rounded out the top 10 in the team race.
Diving Coach of Year: Dave Parrington, Tennessee
Diver of the Year: Tori Lamp, Tennessee
Swimmer of Year: Elizabeth Pelton, California
Swimming Coach of Year: Jack Bauerle, Georgia