By John Lohn
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., March 20. LET'S get this out of the way. In capturing the NCAA championship, Georgia received contributions throughout its lineup. Hey, that's the only way to rule the collegiate ranks.
But, one Bulldog has established herself as, perhaps, the premier collegiate performer in the nation. Kara Lynn Joyce, take a step forward for well-deserved recognition.
It wasn't long ago that Joyce was named Swimming World's 2003 High School Female Swimmer of the Year. As a senior at Ann Arbor High in Michigan, Joyce was dazzling and set scholastic records in the sprint-freestyle events.
Through the first half of her collegiate days, Joyce has been equally spectacular. She's been an Olympian, has now helped her team to a national title and boasts 11 NCAA championships, four of the individual variety.
Over the weekend, Joyce was a major reason why Georgia broke through Auburn's three-year stranglehold on the NCAA championship. Aside from repeating as champ in the 50 and 100 freestyles, Joyce powered the Bulldogs to victories in the 200, 400 and 800 free relays and also aided the triumphant 200 medley relay.
That effort arrived one year after Joyce corralled five NCAA crowns and also made the United States Olympic Team in the 50 and 100 free events. In Athens, Joyce advanced to the finals in each of her individual disciplines and won silver medals as a member of the 400 medley and 400 free relay squads.
With the World Championship Trials set for Indianapolis in early April, Joyce is poised to qualify for another international team. More, she's proven that United States sprinting is in good hands.