SAN ANTONIO, FEB. 24. SMU's Lady Mustangs, led by a trio of foreign Olympians and a talented home-grown breaststroker, raced to their fifth-consecutive Western Athletic Conference Championship here tonight.
Coach Steve Collins' Lady Mustangs' five-peat performance ended with 917 points over the three-day event, 333.5 points ahead of second place Hawaii (583.5). On the day, SMU clocked a trio of NCAA automatic qualifying times at the Palo Alto College Natatorium.
Earning her second title in two days, SMU sophomore Sarah Chandler zipped to a meet, conference and pool-record in the 200 breastroke with her pr 2:11.89 — under the NCAA automatic "A" standard. For her record-breaking efforts, Chandler was voted WAC Swimmer of the Year.
Freshman teammate Anu Koivisto, a Finnish Olympian, earned her third title of the championships with a school, meet and WAC standard in the the 200 backstroke (1:56.64), She previously had won the 200 IM and the 100 back (WAC record 54.84). In the longer backstroke she edged teammates Alenka Kejzar, a Slovenian Olympian (1:56.92), and Shea Fitzgerald (1:57.95), who were second and third, respectively. All three times are under the automatic qualifying mark.
The Mustangs' British Olympian Georgina Lee raced to first-place in the 200 fly, 1:56.49, and her winning effort was another WAC meet and pool record, as well as an automatic cut. Mustang sophomore McCall Dorr, who finished second in the 200 butterfly, also qualified for NCAAs with a time of 1:59.10.
The SMU 400 freestyle relay of Lisa Wanberg, Katina Maistrellis, Alison Wimer and Dallas Marshall out-touched Hawaii to earn the title and lower its NCAA provisional time with a mark of 3:20.49.
Following SMU and Hawaii in the team standing were Rice (481.5), Nevada (458), TCU (407), Fresno State (363) and San Jose State (325).
Following the conclusion of the meet, SMU dominated conference honors including Sarah Chandler being named WAC Swimmer of the Year. Honors announced, including Chandler's were:
Sarah Chandler, SMU (Swimmer of the Year)
Christie Bulmer, Nevada (Diver of the Year)
Georgina Lee, SMU (Freshman of the Year)
Steve Collins, SMU (Swimming Coach of the Year)
Jian Li You, Nevada (Diving Coach of the Year).