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AUBURN, Alabama, March 15. CALIFORNIA's Cindy Tran, Caitlin Leverenz, Sara Isakovic and Katherine Raatz bettered their NCAA and U.S. Open record from prelims in a triumphant swim in the 400 medley relay at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. The foursome turned in a 3:28.10 this evening, pipping the 3:28.14 that the same foursome clocked this morning.
The win was California's third of the night, and defended the Golden Bears' 2011 victory when Tran, Leverenz, Amanda Sims and Liv Jensen posted a 3:28.53 for the conquest. The win is California's third ever in the event, as Lauren Rogers, Jessica Hardy, Dana Vollmer and Emily Silver topped the 2007 meet in a 3:30.18.
Arizona's Sarah Denninghoff, Ellyn Baumgardner, Lauren Smart and Margo Geer put up a fight with a 3:19.13 as Geer threw down a 46.76 on the anchor leg. Tennessee's Jenny Connolly, Molly Hannis, Kelsey Floyd and Lindsay Gendron took third in 3:29.92.
Texas A&M (3:30.31), Auburn (3:30.38), Texas (3:31.20), Arizona State (3:31.52) and Southern California (3:33.94) also vied for the NCAA title.
In terms of splits, Tran boasted the top backstroke leadoff with a 50.94, off her third-ranked lifetime best of 50.65. Texas A&M's Breeja Larson bettered Leverenz on the breaststroke, 57.67 to 57.71. Tennessee's Floyd posted a 51.13 for the top butterfly leg.
Stanford's Felicia Lee, Mary Olsen, Samantha Woodward and Elizabeth Webb trumped Georgia's Kristen Shickora, Michelle McKeehan, Lauren Harrington and Megan Romano, 3:30.86 to 3:30.90, in the consolation heat. Florida (3:32.93), Minnesota (3:33.71), Penn State (3:33.89), Missouri (3:34.26), Wisconsin (3:34.78) and SMU (3:35.47) also swam in the consolation final. Romano notched the fastest anchor leg of the night with a blistering 46.07.
Defending champion California held the day one lead with 132 points, while Stanford and Southern California were tied for second with 118 points each. Arizona (107) and Auburn (94) rounded out the top five. Georgia (91), Texas A&M (89), Texas (74), Tennessee (73) and Missouri (44) wrapped up the top 10.
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