AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 15. THE NO.9 Texas women's swimming and diving team, the defending Big 12 Conference champions, won all six events during the
second day of competition at the 2001 Big 12 Championships at the Jamail Swim Center. The Longhorns (364) currently hold a 125-point lead, outpacing Texas A&M (239), Nebraska (155), Iowa State (141.5), Missouri (129) and Kansas (126.5).
Senior Colleen Lanné (Tuscon, Ariz/Salpointe Catholic) defended her 2000 conference title in the 50-yard freestyle by setting a Big 12 record and personal best time of 22.00 in the finals. Lanné's record-setting pace also ranks second on the Texas' all-time top ten
times and is the leading time in the nation this year.
"I was ready to compete tonight," said Lanné. "I wanted to come out and swim by best for the team. It was such a great feeling, but it has only just begun. Now we are focusing on getting ready for Friday's competition and keep on improving in each race."
The Longhorns started Thursday's finals by winning their third consecutive Big 12 Conference title in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The foursome of Lanné, senior Shona Kitson (Windsor, Ontario, Canada/Vincent Massey), junior Lauren Martin (Houston, Texas/The
Bolles School) and sophomore Erin Phenix (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline Academy) posted a season-best time of 1:31.39 to lead the Longhorns to victory.
In the meet's second event, freshman Rachel Harris (Subiaco, Australia/Methodist Cadies College) captured her first conference title in the 500 freestyle in a time of 4:46.48, outdistancing Nebraska's Jackie Lobdell (4:47.97). Sophomore Emily Ballenger
(Anderson, S.C./T.L. Hanna) and senior Erin Howarth (Shrewbury, Mass/Shrewbury) followed in third and fourth place, respectively.
Sophomore Tanica Jamison (Dublin, Calif./Dublin) touched first in the 200 IM and recording an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:59.92.
Also contributing valuable points for the Longhorns were sophomore diver Kristen Marquis (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic), who garnered her second individual title of the championship by winning the three-meter event (530.35). Texas A&M's Megan Zack and Marie-Eve Marleau followed in second and third place, while freshman Ally Hartzell (Austin, Texas/Home-Schooled) finished
Texas continued its domination in the day's final event, as the team of Lanné, Jamison and juniors Bethany Lindberg (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) and Helen Denman (Dalkeith, Australia/University of
Western Australia) posted an NCAA consideration time of 3:39.54 to capture the Longhorns third-consecutive title in the 400 medley relay.
"We couldn't have asked for anything more," said co-head coach Jill Sterkel. "We didn't come out as strong in the morning prelims as we wanted, but they gave it their all in the finals. The energy and team support were outstanding, but we know we can't let up for the next two days of competition."
The Big 12 Championships will resume on Friday, Feb. 16, beginning with the prelims at 11 a.m. Admission to all prelim events are free, while final sessions cost $4 for adults and $2 for senior citizens and students.