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WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, March 18. DAY one of the 2010 Division I women's NCAA Championships are underway with heats of the 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 400 medley relay this morning.
200 Freestyle Relay
Stanford's foursome of Betsy Webb, Samantha Woodward, Kate Dwelley and Julia Smit posted the top qualifying time this morning with a new pool record of 1:27.70. Florida touched second in 1:27.93. Georgia (1:28.35), Auburn (1:28.80), California (1:28.82), Texas A&M (1:28.98), Arizona (1:29.01) and Virginia (1:29.23) will round out tonight's championship final.
The Wisconsin Badgers will have the top seed in the consolation final this evening with a time of 1:29.44. Notably, Texas qualified 13th in 1:30.09, and the University of Southern California was disqualified for an early take-off.
In one of the closest fields in recent years, less than a second separated the top eight qualifiers in the 500 free. Cal's Lauren Boyle led the way with a 4:38.72, just ahead of Georgia's Wendy Trott, who swam a 4:38.78, and Princeton's Alicia Aemisegger, who finished in 4:38.84. Alyssa Anderson of Arizona snuck into fourth place in 4:39.33, in front of Texas A&M's Kristen Heiss, who grabbed fifth in 4:39.45. Georgia's Allison Schmitt (4:39.47), Towson's Meredith Budner (4:39.51) and Georgia's Chelsea Nauta (4:39.58) will round out the finalists, giving the Bulldogs three of the top eight.
Leone Vorster earned the top spot in consols with a 4:40.21, giving the Wildcats two scoring swimmers. USC placed two in consols with Katinka Hosszu and Haley Anderson taking 10th and 11th. Stanford's lone representative will be Kelsey Ditto, who qualified 13th in 4:42.08.
200 Individual Medley
After setting an American record of 1:52.31 at the Pac-10 Championships last month, Stanford's Julia Smit cruised to a pool record and the No. 1 seed with a 1:54.34 this morning. She'll be challenged by Texas A&M's Julia Wilkinson, who touched second in 1:55.14. Margaret Kelly of Michigan grabbed the third seed in 1:55.41, ahead of Texas's Kathleen Hersey (1:55.76). Morgan Scroggy of Georgia posted a 1:55.85 for fifth, with Cal's Caitlin Leverenz (1:56.66), Stanford's Elaine Breeden (1:56.69) and Auburn's Ava Ohlgren (1:56.76) making up the rest of the championship heat.
Stanford nearly had three swimmers in the top heat with Liz Smith narrowly finishing ninth in 1:56.88. Jenny Forster (1:57.29) and Andrea Boritzke (1:57.67) placed 12th and 14th for Arizona to give the Wildcats two in consols. Georgia will have one swimmer in consols, as Jana Mangimelli finished 16th in 1:57.69.
Georgia's Anne-Marie Botek led the way in prelims with a 22.16 in what could be a lightning fast finale heat. Cal's Liv Jensen qualified second in 22.21, while Florida's Shara Stafford (22.22), Stanford's Samantha Woodward (22.26) and Virginia's Lauren Perdue (22.26) made up the top five. Notre Dame's Amywren Miller (22.30), Cal's Hannah Wilson (22.31) and Stanford's Elizabeth Webb (22.32) also will vie for the national title.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of Auburn earned the top seed in consolations after losing a swimoff with Webb. Vanderpool-Wallace also clocked a 22.32 in prelims. Tennessee's Michele King surprisingly fell into the consolation final with a 22.35 after having been a favorite for the title.
400 Medley Relay
It appeared that Arizona's relay of Ana Agy, Ellyn Baumgardner, Whitney Lopus and Justine Schluntz may be disqualified for a false start, but a video review confirmed that Baumgardner's start was legal, leaving Arizona with the fastest time heading into tonight at 3:31.16, a pool record. Stanford's quartet of Julia Smit, Liz Smith, Elaine Breeden and Kate Dwelley grabbed the second spot with a preliminary time of 3:31.92, followed by Florida's 3:32.23. Georgia picked up the fourth fastest time of 3:32.64, just ahead of Texas A&M's 3:32.79. USC (3:33.03), Virginia (3:33.45) and Cal (3:33.58) rounded out the top eight qualifiers.
Minnesota's Kelci Bryant topped qualifying with 342.90 points, while Houston's Anastasia Pozdniakova finished second with 332.90. Duke's Abby Johnston (319.70), Texas A&M's Jaele Patrick (316.60), USC's Victoria Ishimatsu (310.30), South Carolina's Taryn Zack (304.65), Ohio State's Chelsea Davis (301.10) and Purdue's Erin Mertz (300.45) also will competed for the national title.
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