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WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, March 19. STANFORD's Julia Smit joined the upper echelon of distance medley swimmers in the history of NCAA women's swimming as she claimed her third straight title in the 400 IM.
Smit clocked a 4:00.90, the fifth fastest time ever, which was good enough for Stanford's seventh win in the event. Her third title tied her with Auburn's Maggie Brown, Florida's Tracy Caulkins and Southern California's Kristine Quance as the only other swimmers to win three straight titles in the distance medley. Smit also crushed her pool record of 4:04.41 set during prelims.
Smit now owns three of the top five swims of all time in the event, including her NCAA, U.S. Open and American record of 3:58.23 set last month at the Pacific 10 Championships.
"It was definitely one of my goals coming into the meet, I wanted to defend my title that I had gotten the last two years," Smit said. "It's really important for me just to get the points for the team. It's a really close race for the title."
Florida's Teresa Crippen has quickly proven herself to be a big meet swimmer as she clocked the 14th fastest time ever with a 4:02.91 for second-place honors. That performance chopped a huge amount of time from her previous personal best of 4:05.00 and moved her from 15th all time to eighth overall. Southern California's Katinka Hosszu also cleared the previous facility record with a third-place 4:03.65. She finished two seconds back of her lifetime best of 4:01.49 clocked at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
Stanford stood first after the event with 194.5 points, while California remained second with 174 points. Florida (156), Georgia (149) and Arizona (146) comprised the rest of the top five.
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