NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships: Day One Prelims; California Downs NCAA, U.S. Open Record in 400 Medley Relay

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AUBURN, Alabama, March 15. THE first day of competition has kicked off at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships being held in Auburn, Ala.

200 free relay
California's Kaylin Bing, Liv Jensen, Colleen Fotsch and Katherine Raatz opened up the first heat of the meet with a pool record time of 1:27.11 in the relay event. That swim bested the 1:28.15 set by Florida at the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championships. California is looking to defend its time from last year when Hannah Wilson, Colleen Fotsch, Erica Dagga and Liv Jensen won the NCAA title in 1:27.36. A victory tonight would give California its third in the event's history to go along with Anya Kolbisen, Haley Copy, Nicole Omphroy and Joscelin Yeo's short course meter triumph in 2000 with a 1:40.18.

Stanford's Samantha Woodard, Madeline Schaefer, Andrea Murez and Elizabeth Webb qualified second in 1:27.36, and will be looking for a Cardinal win in the event for the first time since back-to-back wins in 1993 and 1994 powered by Jenny Thompson. Stanford has won the 200 free relay a total of five times, including 1982, 1983 and 1986.

Texas' Karlee Bispo, Bethany Adams, Ellen Lobb and Kelsey Amundsen qualified third in 1:27.65, while Arizona's Margo Geer, Kaitlyn Flederbach, Emma Darlington and Aubrey Peacock picked up fourth in 1:27.79. Auburn's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Hannah Riordan, Haley Krakoski and Emily Bos earned the fifth seed in 1:27.86, while Missouri's Shara Stafford, Cassandra Cunningham, Emily Doucette and Lisa Nathanson picked up sixth in 1:28.14.

Tennessee (1:28.37) and SMU (1:28.48) will also compete for the championship in the big final tonight, while Wisconsin (1:28.63), Georgia (1:28.66), Texas A&M (1:29.03), Florida (1:29.42), Southern California (1:29.71), Maryland (1:29.72), Boise State (1:29.82) and Penn State (1:29.85) completed the consolation heat.

Auburn's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace collected the top 50 free leadoff with a 21.58, while Arizona's Margo Geer posted a 21.72. Missouri's Shara Stafford (21.79) and Wisconsin's Rebecca Thomson (21.94) also went sub-22 to leadoff their respective squads. Vanderpool-Wallace's leadoff time is the 14th fastest ever in the event's history. Vanderpool-Wallace holds six of the top 15 times all time.

Geer's time is a lifetime best, bettering her 21.79 from last year's NCAAs, and pushing her to ninth all time in the event. Meanwhile, Stafford jumped to 11th all time in the sprint free.

500 free
With Georgia's Allison Schmitt training at North Baltimore on an Olympic redshirt, we are guaranteed to have a new NCAA titlist in the event. Schmitt had won the previous three iterations of this event, with triumphs in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Georgia could be looking at keeping the title in the family with a fifth win by the Bulldogs since the event first began in 1982. Shannon Vreeland threw down the 15th fastest time ever with a 4:34.49 in the middle distance event. That swim pushed her into eighth on the all-time performers list. Besides Allison Schmitt, Laura Conway has also won the 500 free for Georgia with a 4:40.01 in 2006.

North Carolina's Stephanie Peacock posted a lifetime best with a 4:35.06 for second, leapfrogging from 13th all time to 10th. North Carolina has never won the 500 free, and Peacock will be vying to become the first Tar Heel with the championship hardware in the event.

Georgia's Amber McDermott, who had the top time coming in with a 4:34.55, qualified third in 4:36.10. Georgia's Wendy Trott (4:36.10), Minnesota's Ashley Steenvoorden (4:36.23), Southern California's Haley Anderson (4:37.23), California's Shelley Harper (4:37.58) and Indiana's Lindsay Vrooman (4:38.65) earned the other transfer spots into the finale.

Texas A&M's Maureen McLaine (4:38.75), Virginia's Rachel Naurath (4:39.63), Indiana's Brittany Strumbel (4:39.66), Arizona's Alyssa Anderson (4:39.68), West Virginia's Rachael Burnett (4:39.70), Southern California's Amanda Smith (4:40.66), California's Catherine Breed (4:40.66) and Virginia Tech's Erika Hajnal (4:41.17) picked up the consolation final lanes.

As expected, Georgia will amass some serious points in the event, with a projected haul of at least 40 points from the 500 free. Only five other teams are looking at picking up more than 10 points from the event this evening.

Average Scoring Projections For Event*:
Georgia (44.25), Southern California (19.375), Indiana (19.375), California (19.375), North Carolina (14.75), Minnesota (14.75), Texas A&M (4.625), Virginia (4.625), Arizona (4.625), West Virginia (4.625), Virginia Tech (4.625)

200 IM
California's Caitlin Leverenz demolished her heat during the breaststroke leg, as expected, en route to a scorching time of 1:53.31. That swim is the seventh best all time, and gives Leverenz two of the top 10 times in event lore. Her top time is a 1:52.43 from the Pacific 12 Conference Championships last month, which ranks her third behind Julia Smit (1:52.31) and Katinka Hosszu (1:52.43). Hosszu, representing Southern California, qualified second in the final heat with a 1:53.43. That swim is the 10th best ever, giving Hosszu three of the top 10 in the event's history. Both times cleared the pool record of 1:55.18 set by Ava Ohlgren in 2009.

Stanford's Maya DiRado (1:55.23), Texas' Karlee Bispo (1:55.47), Georgia's Melanie Margalis (1:55.51), Indiana's Alyssa Vavra (1:55.58), Southern California's Stina Gardell (1:55.66) and Southern California's Meghan Hawthorne (1:55.93) rounded out the rest of the big final.

Notre Dame's Emma Reaney (1:56.09), Texas A&M's Kim Pavlin (1:56.81), Texas A&M's Paige Miller (1:56.95), Texas A&M's Erica Dittmer (1:57.07), Columbia's Catherine Meili (1:57.08), Virginia's Ellen Williamson (1:57.67), Texas A&M's Carol McElhany (1:57.76) and Southern California's Tanya Krisman (1:57.84) secured point-scoring spots in the consolation heat.

In an outcome that drew some shocked responses from the crowd in attendance, Florida's Elizabeth Beisel drew a disqualification during her heat. The disqualification was due to a false start. Florida appealed the ruling, and the ruling stood.

The Women of Troy made a huge run at team points in the medley with a change to secure more than 50 points this evening, while Georgia only picked up one A finalist to match with its more than 40 points from the 500 free. Texas A&M placed four into the B final.

Average Scoring Projections For Event*:
Southern California (48.875), Texas A&M (18.5), California (14.75), Stanford (14.75), Texas (14.75), Georgia (14.75), Indiana (14.75), Notre Dame (4.625), Columbia (4.625), Virginia (4.625)

50 free
Auburn's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, the defending champion and heavy favorite in the event, lowered her pool record from the relay leadoff with a 21.46 for the top seed tonight. That's the third time she's posted a 21.46, which is tied for ninth all time. She now has six of the top 10 all time swims, and will be gunning for Lara Jackson's U.S. Open and NCAA record of 21.27 from 2009 tonight.

Arizona's Margo Geer checked in with a 21.66, besting her lifetime best of 21.72 from her relay leadoff this morning. So far today, Geer moved up from 11th all time to eighth, and is one of just nine swimmers to break 21.70 in the event's history.

California's Liv Jensen qualified third in 21.71, .21 seconds off her fourth-ranked lifetime best of 21.50 from NCAAs last year. Stanford's Elizabeth Webb finished fourth this morning with a 21.81 to improve to 14th all time.

Missouri's Shara Stafford (21.95), Stanford's Samantha Woodward (22.00), Wisconsin's Rebecca Thompson (22.02) and Tennessee's Caroline Simmons (22.05) snagged the rest of the A final lanes.

Miami's Kelsi Hall (22.12), Stanford's Madeline Schaefer (22.18), Florida's Sarah Bateman (22.18), Texas' Kelsey Amundsen (22.19), Liberty's Brye Ravettine (22.28), Penn State's Paige Whitmire (22.33), UNLV's Rachel Dixon (22.37) and Auburn's Hannah Riordan (22.38) made up the consolation heat, as the mid-majors demonstrated an increasing parity within women's collegiate swimming.

Stanford will counter Georgia and Southern California in this event with more than 30 points being added to the Cardinal coffer after the sprints.

Average Scoring Projections For Event*:
Stanford (34.125), Auburn (19.375), Arizona (14.75), California (14.75), Missouri (14.75), Wisconsin (14.75), Tennessee (14.75), Miami (4.625), Florida (4.625), Texas (4.625), Liberty (4.625), Penn State (4.625), UNLV (4.625)

* Average Scoring Projections based on the average points allotted to an A finalist (14.75) and a B finalist (4.625).

400 medley relay
The California foursome of Cindy Tran, Caitlin Leverenz, Sara Isakovic and Katherine Raatz bettered their NCAA and U.S. Open record of 3:28.26 set at the Pacific 12 Championships last night with a 3:28.14 this morning during prelims. California will be looking to defend its title from last year when Tran, Leverenz, Amanda Sims and Liv Jensen won in 3:28.53. California has won once before with a 3:30.18 from Lauren Rogers, Jessica Hardy, Dana Vollmer and Emily Silver back in 2007. Notably, Tran clocked a sterling time of 50.98 on the 100 back leadoff.

Texas A&M's Paige Miller, Breeja Larson, Caroline McElhany and Kim Pavlin clinched the second seed in 3:29.42, while Auburn's Emily Bos, Lauren Norberg, Olivia Scott and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace finished third in 3:30.32.

Tennessee (3:31.24), Southern California (3:31.34), Arizona State (3:32.11), Texas (3:32.16) and Arizona (3:32.33) earned the other spots in the finale. Georgia (3:32.53), Florida (3:32.63), Stanford (3:33.30), Missouri (3:33.79), Minnesota (3:33.81), SMU (3:34.10), Wisconsin (3:34.79) and Penn State (3:35.11) claimed the consolation heat entrants.

Notably, Megan Romano had the fastest anchor leg with a 46.51, actually better than Vanderpool-Wallace's 46.77. Larson had the best breaststroke leg with a 57.24, while Isakovic led a slew of 51s on the butterfly leg with a 51.03.

One-Meter Diving
USC's Victoria Ishimatsu led qualifying from the one-meter with 331.55 points, while Auburn's Vennie Dentin took second with 326.10 points. Arizona's Samantha Pickens (318.05), Texas A&M's Jaele Patrick (313.00), Minnesota's Margaret Keefer (311.65), Texas A&M's Janie Potvin (310.85), Stanford's Stephanie Phipps (308.30) and Virginia Tech's Logan Kline (304.10) made up the rest of the championship final.

Virginia Tech's Kaylea Arnett (302.90), Michigan's Amanda Lohman (302.05), Tennessee's Jodie McGroarty (301.60), Arizona State's Elina Eggers (299.60), South Carolina's Courtney Forcucci (299.60), Ohio State's Bianca Alvarez (296.50), Indiana's Laura Ryan (291.55) and New Mexico's Gabby Erickson (291.50) made up the consolation finalists.

Average Scoring Projections For Event*:
Texas A&M (29.5), Virginia Tech (19.375), Southern California (14.75), Auburn (14.75), Arizona (14.75), Minnesota (14.75), Stanford (14.75), Michigan (4.625), Tennessee (4.625), Arizona State (4.625), South Carolina (4.625), Ohio State (4.625), Indiana (4.625), New Mexico (4.625)

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Swimming World's NCAA Division I Women's Championships Notes Package Sponsored by NISCA

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Author: Archive Team

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