NCAA Women’s Division I Championships: Georgia Leads; Tennessee Second

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 21. THE first evening of finals is complete at the NCAA Women's Division I Championships at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI. Special thanks to SpeedoUSA for sponsoring our editorial coverage for this meet.

The first night featured the Georgia Bulldogs following through on the promise of a monster morning that netted them nine swimmers tonight and two relays, en route to leading with 163 points. Tennessee, however, pulled off a bit of a surprise with a relay sweep – the Lady Vols' first two relay titles in the program's history!

Check out our event coverage page for complete coverage from this meet!

NCAA Day One Finals Live Coverage

We are LIVE from the NCAA Division I Women's Championships at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI. Special thanks to SpeedoUSA for sponsoring this coverage!

Storified by SwimmingWorld· Thu, Mar 21 2013 18:08:06


Reminiscent of Texas A&M's breakthrough meet a few yearsback when Julia Wilkinson and Alia Atkinson gave the Aggies their first andsecond NCAA titles, Tennessee pulled off a tremendous relay sweep for its firsttwo NCAA relay titles in program history.


Trailing heading into the butterfly leg, relay MVP KelseyFloyd dropped a stunning 50.98 split before Lindsay Gendron went toe-to-toewith Arizona's Margo Geer with a 47.27 anchor leg as Tennessee finished with anastonishing 3:28.51.  Lauren Solernou(52.88) and Molly Hannis (57.38) provided the front-half of Tennessee's secondrelay win of the night. 


The Lady Vols also pulled off another historic feat,breaking the record for the slimmest margin of victory in the 400-yard medleyrelay, downing Arizona's second-place 3:28.83 by just .32 seconds.  The previous record had been a .36 margin byAuburn ahead of Georgia in 2003, 3:31.45 to 3:31.81. 


Arizona's Lauren Smart (52.39), Ellyn Baumgardner (58.16),Megan Lafferty (51.67) and Geer (46.61) put up the second-place time, while Californiawitnessed its two-year reign in the event fall with a third-place 3:29.47 fromCindy Tran (52.38), Caitlin Leverenz (58.06), Rachel Bootsma (51.27) andElizabeth Pelton (47.76).


Stanford (3:30.06), Texas A&M (3:30.63), Georgia(3:30.90), Texas (3:32.35) and Florida (3:33.61) rounded out the top eight inthe final event of the evening. 


Georgia owned a 13.5-point lead heading into the final daywith 163 points, while surprising Tennessee stood second with 150.5 points.Arizona (127), California (102) and Stanford (90.5) comprised the rest of thetop five with USC lurking just outside the top five with 90 points. 

TENNESSEE!!!! ROCKY TOP, You'll ALWAYS Be! Relay Sweep! 3:28.51 #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Talk about instant satisfaction on that #moretocome Way to Go Lady Vols! And great fight from my Wildcats!Christine Magnuson
Such a great night for the Vols and @mkredich! Great reminder to not make any assumptions – wait 4 finals! via @CoachBrackinSwimmingWorld
Tennessee splits on that relay were insane! #upset #NCAA2013Kathleen Baker
@SwimmingWorld GA no surprise, but where did y'all have Tennessee? Powerful day 1 showing winning both relays.TheGrapeGeek
@SwimmingWorld @SpeedoUSA #NCAA2013 Hats-off to Tennessee! #RelaySweep! TN came to #Play!Erin Quinn
Kelsey Floyd is Tennessee's relay MPV tonight, gets lead heading into free #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
I guess the momentum does work!! Way to go TN!! via @CoachBrackinSwimmingWorld
Auburn smokes back half to win B final in 3:31.40 #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
51.86 great lead off for Fellow Canuck @Brooklynn0494 in the medley relay! You go girl! #ncaa2013Julia WilkinsonMinks


Arizona's Samantha Pickens used gigantic dive, aftergigantic dive, netting 9s with regularity, as she tallied 348.45 points for theNCAA title.  That's Arizona's first titlein the event's history, but keeps the title in the hands of the Pacific 12Conference after USC's Victoria Ishimatsu topped the event last year with354.10 points.


Minnesota's Margaret Keefer just missed becoming the secondGolden Gopher to win the one-meter with a second-place 338.20.  Kelci Bryant is the only diver from Minnesotato win the one-meter, having posted 349.65 points in 2011. Tennessee's JodieMcGroarty kept the Big Orange's big night going with a third-place tally of335.75. 


Massachusetts' Michaela Butler (333.45), Missouri's LorenFigueroa (327.55), Tennessee's Tori Lamp (312.10), Texas' Maren Taylor (308.95)and Texas A&M's Rebecca St. Germain (306.85) also competed in thechampionship finale. 

With zero diving points, Georgia remained stagnant with 137points, while Tennessee vaulted back into second with 110.5 points. Arizona(93), USC (90) and California (70) stood third, fourth and fifth heading intothe final event of the night. 

More on Maren's return to the NCAA Championships here: <a href="" class="">…</a>UT Women'sSwimDive


Arizona's Margo Geer finally had her breakthrough swim,capturing the title in the 50 free with a 21.73.  The junior first took third as a freshman,then finished runner-up to Liv Jensen of California last year.  Tonight, she finally ascended the mountaintop to become the top NCAA sprinter in the land with a 21.73.  She's been a bit faster with a lifetime bestof 21.64 from last year behind Jensen's 21.48, but at NCAAs the clock doesn'tmatter — only who wins.  That is Arizona'sfifth title in the event's history, as Geer joined Diane Johnson (1982), AshleyTappin (1995) and Lara Jackson (2008, 2009) as Wildcat victors in the event.


Georgia's Megan Romano raced to second in 21.88, clippingTennessee's Faith Johnson (21.89) for second by the slimmest of margins.  Johnson had outside smoke on her mind as sheturned in 10.55 to lead the way at the 25-yard mark from lane 1, but couldn'thold off Geer and Romano down the stretch shortly after helping the LadyVolunteers to their first relay title ever in the 200 free relay at thebeginning of the night.


Johnson's teammate Caroline Simmons deadheated with Stanford'sMaddy Schaefer for fourth with matching 22.01s, while Wisconsin's Ivy Martinclaimed sixth overall in 22.03.  USC'sKasey Carlson (22.06) and Georgia's Chantal Van Landeghem (22.10) earnedseventh and eighth in the finale. Florida's Natalie Hinds won the B final in 22.12.


Georgia kept piling on the points in what has been a hugefirst night, tallying 137 points after the splash-and-dash. Southern Californiastood second with 90 points, while Tennessee jumped to third with 81.5 points.Arizona (73) and California (70) held fourth and fifth after the event.  

Here is Margo receiving her national championship! #BearDown <a href="" class=""></a>ArizonaSwimming
Awesome to see @mmgeer win a national title! #beardownBobby Hurley
And Congrats to my awesome training partner in crime @mmgeer for her 1st 50 free title! #BeardownChristine Magnuson
MarGo Geer breaks through for win with a sterling 21.73 Romano (21.88), Johnson (21.89) #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
pays to know how to finish!! Congrats Margo – all in the finish! via @CoachBrackinSwimmingWorld
RT @matthewdclay: @SwimmingWorld get this: @FranklinMissy would have won the 5free tonight w last weeks time. AMAZING! @CoachBrackinSwimmingWorld
Margo Geer! 3rd as a freshman, 2nd as a sophomore… I'm not great at math, but…
Hinds wins B final in 22.12 for Florida in 50 free #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
great swim for Natalie – what a wall! Feet came over so FAST! via @CoachBrackinSwimmingWorld


Defending champion, and NCAA/American record holder with ascintillating 1:51.77 from last year's NCAAs, Caitlin Leverenz defended hertitle in the sprint medley with a dominant breaststroke split of 32.11 en routeto a 1:53.39 for the win.  That swim tiesfor the 11th fastest ever, and is just the second time the GoldenBears have won the event.  Leverenz isjust the eighth swimmer ever to win duplicate titles in the event as well,joining amazing swimmers such as Kristine Quance, Summer Sanders and Julia Smitto have won two titles.  Maggie Bowen, TracyCaulkins and Martina Moravcova each claimed three 200 IM titles in their careers.


Leverenz led a much-needed Cal 1-2 as freshman phenomElizabeth Pelton powered past Stanford's Maya DiRado for second with a 1:53.82 –just half-a-second off Pelton's top time of 1:53.39 that ranks her fifth alltime.  DiRado, who went out well underNCAA and American record pace with a 52.72 at the 100, wound up third in1:53.86.  That's a lifetime best forDiRado, clipping a bit from her 1:53.89 at last year's NCAAs.  She was unable, however, to better her ninthall-time position as Dagny Knutson still stands eighth with a 1:53.82 from2009. 


USC's Stina Gardell (1:54.49), Florida's Elizabeth Beisel(1:54.65), Georgia's Melanie Margalis (1:54.71), Columbia's Katie Meili(1:54.72) and USC's Meghan Hawthorne (1:56.71) also vied for the national titlein the stacked finale.  Notre Dame's EmmaReaney blasted a 1:55.06 to win the B final, while UNC's Carolyn Blalock took10th overall in 1:55.86. 

Georgia remained in the lead with 109 points, while SouthernCalifornia pulled into second with 77 points. California (70), Tennessee (51)and Arizona (47) made up the rest of the top five.

Caitlin Leverenz DEFENDS title in 200 IM with 1:53.39, Pelton 1:53.82, DiRado 1:53.86 #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Congrats @cleverenz and @eliZAbethP_1126 for going 1-2 in the 200IM at NCAA's! #gobearsNathan Adrian
Way to go @cleverenz & @eliZAbethP_1126! 1-2 200IM at #NCAASwim #RollOnYouBears! Proud of you two. :)Natalie Coughlin
1:25.94 for LEVERENZ with a blazing breaststroke 32.11 #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
52.72, WELL under NCAA/American record pace for DiRado #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Maya DiRado JUST off NCAA/American record pace at 50 #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Emma Reaney rocks 1:55.06 to win 200 IM consols for Irish! #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld


With all the talk surrounding which Georgia Bulldog wouldwin the 500 freestyle this evening, USC's defending champion Haley Andersonlikely felt a bit overlooked.  Whilethere was some logic coming into the meet that Olympic star Allison Schmittwould reclaim her title after an Olympic redshirt ended her three-year run asthe champ, Anderson had her own Olympic pedigree as an Olympic silver medalistin open water. 


In one of the most exciting 500 frees ever, Anderson rippedoff a time of 4:34.66 to win her second gold medal in the event.  That time fell just off her winning time of4:34.48 from last year, but gave USC its fifth title in the event.  Anderson also became just the 10thswimmer to ever win duplicate 500 free titles. Lindsay Benko is the only other Trojan to do so, having won three in1996, 1997 and 1999.


Georgia's Amber McDermott raced to second in 4:34.86,falling by just .20 seconds.  That'sclose, but not the closest ever in the event's history.  Florida's Nicolas Haislett owns that recordwith a .05-second triumph ahead of Tennessee's Leslie Vix in 1994, 4:43.36 to4:43.41.  Georgia's Shannon Vreelandrounded out the top three with a 4:35.95. Schmitt finished a surprising sixth with a 4:36.73 as she faded badlydown the stretch.


Arizona's Bonnie Brandon (4:35.96), Indiana's LindsayVrooman (4:36.41), North Carolina's Danielle Siverling (4:37.57) and Tennessee'sLindsay Gendron (4:41.69) put up the rest of the championship finaletimes. 


Texas A&M's Sarah Henry, the top seed heading into themeet, found some redemption in the B final after missing the top eight.  She rolled to a 4:36.53 to win theconsolation heat.  

Georgia jumped to a big lead after a monster event, endingthe second event with 90 points. Tennessee stood second with 51 points, while Arizona (47), USC (46) andCalifornia (33) rounded out the top five.

@halswims defends her title! @SpeedoUSA #NCAA2013 <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
@SwimmingWorld @SpeedoUSA Congrats @halswims as the defending champ 😉 Ima
wow congrats Haley! Open water swimmer in the house! via @CoachBrackinSwimmingWorld
this 500 is the way it should be 7 with a shot! via @CoachBrackinSwimmingWorld
USC's Haley Anderson DEFENDS!!!!!! 4:34.66, McDermott 4:34.86 #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Two high schoolers (Ledecky and Franklin) could have won tonight's NCAA 500 free.Mike Gustafson
USC's Haley Anderson might have felt overlooked as the defending champ #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
@arschmitty in the zone minutes out from the 500 free! #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Texas A&M's Sarah Henry shakes off morning disappointment with 4:36.53 to win 500 fr B final #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld


Tennessee charted a gigantic moment in its program's historyas the Big Orange scored its first NCAA relay title ever as Kelsey Floydstormed home in a blistering anchor of 21.48. Carolina Simmons (22.11), Faith Johnson (21.73), Lindsay Gendron (21.82)and Floyd (21.48) had the most balanced team in finals.  While several other swimmers put up some scarysplits, no one else had the time of consistency that Matt Kredich's squad wasable to pull off. 


The Lady Volunteers had some work to do, as the squad had tohold off a surging Georgia Bulldog squad. Maddie Locus (22.70), Chantal Van Landeghem (21.67) and Jessica Graber(21.93) started off UGA's effort, before superstar anchor Megan Romano droppeda stunning 21.08, but ran out of room as Georgia wound up second in1:27.38. 


Arizona's Margo Geer jumped out to a strong leadoff with a21.71, while Kaitlyn Flederbach (21.79), Megan Lafferty (21.51) and AlanaPazeviz (22.48) closed out a third-place performance of 1:27.51.  Defending champion Stanford's Maddy Schaefer(22.01), Andrea Murez (21.66), Alex Whitford (22.48) and Felicia Lee (21.75)wound up fourth in 1:27.90.


California (1:28.31), USC (1:28.63), Texas (1:28.87) andFlorida (1:28.93) rounded out the championship heat, while Texas A&M swam abit angry after a tough morning with a B final win in 1:28.89 finished by awhopping 21.96 anchor from Breeja Larson. 

@SwimmingWorld So proud to be wearing Orange! #GoVolsTyler Fenwick
GIGANTIC moment in Big Orange history as Tennessee wins first relay ever #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Tennessee!! I think I called that!!! Wow! Great swim! 21.48 Floyd!! via @CoachBrackinSwimmingWorld
@SwimmingWorld Congrats Tennessee gals!! And Megan Romano with a 21.08 for Georgia! #SICKFAST! #NCAA2013Erin Quinn
Congrats to the Lady Vols on their FIRST NCAA Relay Title! #moretocome #VFLChristine Magnuson
Georgia 2nd 21.08 from Romano 1:27.38, Arizona 1:27.51 #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Tennessee STORMS to 200 free relay NCAA title! 1:27.14 21.48 from Floyrd #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Texas A&M blows by Wisconsin to win 1:28.89 to 1:29.20 for B final of 200 free relay #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Wisc's Ivy Martin with a blistering 21.94 leadoff #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld
Getting LOUD in here #NCAA2013 @SpeedoUSA <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld

FABULOUS Peter Bick Photo Gallery! Best swim photographer in the business.

Swimmingworldmagazine – 2013 NCAA Division I Women Photo – The World's Leading Independent Resource For Aquatic Sports

Streamlined News recaps the day at both NCAA D1 and D3 championships!

Today's Streamlined News is all about @NCAA swimming, in Division I and Division III. Catch up on the latest! <a href="" class=""><a href="" class=""></a></a>SwimmingWorld
Georgia had a big day this morning, coming back with plenty of firepower.
Georgia's women will have 9 swimmers and 2 relays in the finals on Thursday at the NCAAs. <a href="" class=""></a>Georgia S&D
That definitely makes recent Morning Swim Show guest Kristy Kowal happy!
Need something to pass time between sessions at @NCAA meet? Here's a video interview with Georgia's @KristyKowal! <a href="" class=""></a>SwimmingWorld

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