DALLAS, Texas, October 19. SOUTHERN Cal extended its lead from the first day of competition at the SMU Classic to win the overall meet with a score of 312 points. Indiana securely placed second with 304.50 points, while Louisville jumped up to third with 280 points. North Carolina (276), Southern Methodist (275.50) and Miami (176) rounded out the scoring.
The meet features just six teams, each with eight swimmers. Each team can only field one swimmer in the six-person “championship” heat and one swimmer in the “consolation” heat.
The surprise of the day came in the women’s 200 breast, as SMU junior Rachel Nicol posted a 2:10.02 to become the fastest collegiate swimmer in the event so far this season. It tops the 2:10.22 posted just yesterday by 2012 NCAA champion and NCAA record holder Breeja Larson. Last season, Nicol placed 28th in the 200 breast at the NCAA meet with a 2:11.40 and won the Conference USA title with a 2:11.09. In the “consolation” heat, Southern Cal’s Kasey Carlson nearly beat Nicol’s time with a 2:10.83 that ranks third in the nation. Carlson has mostly been known as a sprinter, but might be making a move into the 200 breaststroke in her senior season.
Indiana’s Lindsay Vrooman led from start to finish in the 500 freestyle, beating North Carolina’s Stephanie Peacock 4:38.11 to 4:42.55. The two now stand 1-2 in the national collegiate rankings, taking down Elizabeth Beisel’s 4:45.04 from three weeks ago. Nina Rangelova of SMU was a distant third with a 4:51.11. In the “consolation” heat, Haley Lips of Indiana posted a 4:48.44 to win that heat. Though it was the third-fastest time of the day, Lips will only get the seventh-place points.
Brooklyn Snodgrass gave Indiana another win today, taking the 200 backstroke with a swift 1:54.08. After Elizabeth Pelton’s 1:53.94, Snodgrass now stands second in the country in the event. She was well ahead of the field, with SMU’s Isabella Arcila second with a 1:56.61. Indiana’s Cynthia Pammett posted the second-fastest swim of the day in the “consolation” heat with a 1:56.43.
The fastest swim of the day in the 100 freestyle did not come from North Carolina’s Ally Hardesty, who won the championship final with a 49.95. Arcila put up the top time of the day with a 49.87 in the consolation final but will only earn the seventh-pace points for SMU.
A day after winning the 400 IM, Lousiville’s Tanja Kylliainen won the 200 fly with a 1:54.99 that is far and away the top time of the season Kylliainen’s best swim of the season had been a 1:58.79 from a dual meet against Xavier last weekend. Her time today is not far off her school record and lifetime best of 1:54.33 from the NCAA championships where she placed eighth in the final.
In the very next event, Kylliainen proved she was the MVP of the meet with a third win in the 200 IM. With a 1:58.31, she came within a second of her lifetime best of 1:57.03, impressive given the little rest after the 200 fly.
Haley Ishimatsu also helped Southern California’s cause, winning the 3-meter springboard competition with a score of 306.30.
Southern Cal won both relays today, taking the 200 medley relay with a 1:39.10 using Kendyl Stewart (25.65), Kasey Carlson (26.99), Jasmine Tosky (26.99) and Kasia Wilk (22.28). Carlson (22.47), Stewart (23.15), Tosky (22.51) and Wilk (22.25) posted a 1:30.38 in the 200 free relay. Carlson’s time in the free relay leadoff puts her second in the event so far this season behind Ivy Martin’s 22.38.