COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 21. LAST night, the McCorckle Aquatic Pavilion had to repair some of the roof as it was blown off with an eruption of cheers from the fans at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships. Last night was relatively quiet, however, compared to the crowd's response tonight when Arizona claimed its third straight relay American and NCAA record of the meet.
Defending their title from last year, the Arizona Wildcats clocked a blazing time of 1:35.29 to crush the school's previous record of 1:36.09 set at last year's NCAA Championships.
This year, Hailey Degolia, Annie Chandler, Lara Jackson and Anna Turner posted splits of 23.67, 50.56, 1:13.68 and 1:35.29 on the way to the American and NCAA standards. The victory is Arizona's second ever in the event after winning for the first time last year.
Another record also went down as Arizona bested Stanford (1:37.63) by the largest margin in the event in NCAA history with a 2.34-second triumph. The previous record had been a 2.05 victory of Texas (1:39.88) over Stanford (1:41.93) way back in 1987.
Stanford bounced back from last night's controversial relay disqualification when Fiona O'Donnell-McCarthy, Caroline Bruce, Elaine Breeden and Brooke Bishop finished second in 1:37.63.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M put together a third-place relay when Julia Wilkinson, Alia Atkinson, Triin Aljand and Sarah Woods stopped the clock in 1:37.72.
Arizona jumped out to a 31-point lead with 191 points, while Auburn held second with 160 points. Texas A&M sat in third with 120 points, while California (119) and Stanford (114) rounded out the top five.