INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 22. OLYMPIC gold medalist Allison Schmitt held off a game Elizabeth Pelton of California for her sixth individual NCAA title with a 1:41.85 in the 200-yard free.
Schmitt's performance is the fifth-fastest time ever, improving on Schmitt's previous lifetime best of 1:41.90. She still has a bit more to go to jump ahead of Missy Franklin's sizzling time of 1:41.81 from last week to move into fourth all time.
The win gave Schmitt her third in the event, adding to her 2010 and 2011 wins after an Olympic redshirt hiatus last year. Only Nicole Haislett (4) and Martina Moravcova (4) have won more 200 free titles. Georgia now has six triumphs in the event's history. Along with Schmitt's three, and Megan Romano's win last year, Kara Lynn Joyce (2006) and Maritza Correia (2000) are also former Bulldog victors.
Pelton nearly caught Schmitt down the stretch, clocking 25s in the final two splits, posting a second-place time of 1:42.13. That swim is the 10th fastest performance ever, pushing Pelton to sixth on the all-time performers charts.
North Baltimore's Bob Bowman definitely was a happy camper as the finish represented an NBAC 1-2 as Schmitt and Pelton are NBAC alums.
Defending champion Romano raced to third in 1:42.64, while teammate Shannon Vreeland claimed fourth in 1:42.67 as the Bulldogs put up huge team points in the event.
Tennessee's Lindsay Gendron (1:43.77), Texas A&M's Liliana Ibanez Lopez (1:44.66), California's Carolina Piehl (1:45.14) and Stanford's Andrea Murez (1:45.25) also vied for the national title in the finale.
Georgia built more than a 50-point lead with its impressive 200 free, tallying 256 points. Tennessee remained second with 210.5 points. California moved up to third with 210 points, while Arizona (173) and Southern California (151) held fourth and fifth.