COLLEGE STATION, Texas, October 27. THE ninth-ranked Texas A&M women¹s swimming & diving team produced a strong team effort across the board in earning a dual meet win over No. 25 Oregon State on Friday evening at the Student Rec Center
The Aggies (3-0) defeated the Beavers (3-4), 153-103, winning 11 of the 14 events contested. Six different swimmers earned individual wins as well as both relays.
"We were really fast today," A&M head coach Steve Bultman said. "This was our toughest week so far in training so I¹m obviously very pleased with how well they swam. I thought we would be pretty good because they have been doing a great job training but I didn¹t think they would go this fast. Tonight was a very pleasant surprise, just an outstanding evening for us as a team."
Three different Aggies earned a pair of wins in the first home dual meet of the season. Sophomore Triin Aljand (Tallinn, Estonia) produced her best 50-yard freestyle of the young season with a strong NCAA consideration standard of 23.15 while just edging out fellow sophomore Christine Marshall (Newport News, Va.), 55.27 to 55.62, in the 100-yard butterfly.
Reigning Co-Big 12 Swimmer of the Year Codie Hansen (Arlington) showed her versatility by first grabbing a win in the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:07.23 then moving all the way down to the 100-yard freestyle, recording a near-consideration time of 51.16 to edge out Aljand (51.28). Hansen¹s time in the 1,000 is only a mere three seconds off her collegiate-best effort set a year ago against Kentucky.
Freshman Alia Atkinson (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) was also a double winner against the Beavers. Atkinson set a lifetime-best of 2:16.44 in the 200-yard breaststroke to eclipse the NCAA B standard by more than a full second. Atkinson also clocked her season best time in the 100-yard breast, hitting the wall in a consideration standard of 1:02.87. Both of her breaststroke times now rank her No. 4 in Texas A&M history.
Sophomore All-American Kristen Heiss (Casper, Wyo.) turned in one of the most impressive performances of her young collegiate career by taking first in the 200-yard backstroke. Heiss and teammate Julia Wilkinson (Stratford, Ont.) turned in sub-1:58 performances in holding off OSU star Saori Haruguchi (1:59.86). Heiss hit the wall in 1:58.64, just .03 off her lifetime best, while Wilkinson was right behind her in 1:58.95.
Heiss proved not the only Aggie relay all-star to make a big splash individually against Oregon State. Christine Marshall eclipsed the NCAA consideration standard in the 200 yard freestyle by nearly two full seconds after hitting the wall in 1:48.54. Marshall now ranks No. 8 in A&M history in the event. She also just missed the consideration standard in the 50-yard freestyle after finishing second to Aljand in 23.51.
Big 12 100-yard backstroke champion Julia Wilkinson again proved her mettle in the event, racing home in 54.96, less than one half-second from the NCAA automatic qualifying standard. Wilkinson led a 1-2-3-4 A&M finish in the event as Heiss, freshman Emily Neal (Plano), and Rebecca Sturdy (Anacortes, Wash.) all turned in sub-58 second times.
The A&M 200-yard medley relay began the meet by just missing the NCAA consideration standard of 1:42.47. The group of Aljand, Atkinson, Marshall and Sturdy clocked a time of 1:42.70 in leading A&M to a 1-2 finish in the event.
The Aggies closed the meet with a near 1-2-3 finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The quartet of Wilkinson, Heiss, Megan Rains (Puyallup, Wash.), and Chelsea Helgason (Olympia, Wash.) hit the wall first in 3:26.65.