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WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, March 19. ARIZONA's Ann Chandler put together a remarkable swim in the 100 breast, breaking the NCAA record on the way to the national title.
Chandler clocked a stunning time of 58.06 to break Rebecca Soni's NCAA record of 58.10 set last year at the 2009 NCAA Championships. Chandler moved to second fastest all time in the event, only behind Tara Kirk's 57.77 American and U.S. Open record set back in 2006. The triumph is the first time the Arizona Wildcats have ever won the 100 breast at this meet, but kept the title in the Pacific 10 for the 10th year overall. Incidentally, Chandler crushed her pool record of 58.97 set during prelims.
"It's hard to take in all at once," Chandler said. "It's been my goal to win since my freshman year and over the past four years I have always gone at least a second and a half faster on my relay splits in the 400 medley relay. It's taken me until this year to be able to swim the race like I swim it in the relay, relaxed. It's taken me four years to find that and it's phenomenal."
Chandler beat George Mason's Ashley Danner (59.29) by 1.23 seconds. A pretty hefty margin, but not the largest of all time in the history of the event at the NCAA Championships. Tracey McFarlane of Texas (1:00.68) beat Susan Rapp of Stanford (1:02.27) by 1.59 seconds back in 1987.
Arizona picked up big team points in the event with a 1-3 finish when Ellyn Baumgarder took third in 59.44. Pre-meet favorite Jillian Tyler of Minnesota faded to fourth in 59.63.
In the team title race, Stanford remained first with 235.5 points, while Georgia pulled into second with 222.5 points. California (222), Arizona (213.5) and Florida (171) completed the top five.
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