PHOENIX, Arizona, March 22. THE second day of prelims set up a great finals session for a number of teams tonight at the women's NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships. The Georgia Bulldogs sit in first after last night's competition, and put a lot of swimmers in the top 16.
Southern California rebounded from yesterday's disqualification in the 400 medley relay with a top qualifying time of 1:35.72 in the 200 medley relay today. It will be a very close final, with the top eight all within about a second of each other.
The top 400 IMers in the meet took it easy in prelims, with no one going under 4:04 in prelims. Sarah Henry of Texas A&M, who just missed out on last night's 500 free A final, is the top seed in the 400 IM with a 4:04.90. Two Olympians are going to be in the hunt, with Caitlin Leverenz in third place and Elizabeth Beisel in fourth place. Maya Dirado will also be chasing for the win as the second seed.
The women's 100 fly saw a surprising top seed in Florida junior Ellese Zalewski with a 51.50. The final will feature three freshmen in California's Rachel Bootsma, Louisville's Kelsi Worrell and Arizona's Megan Lafferty.
Allison Schmitt leads six Georgia swimmers in the top 16 of the 200 freestyle with her 1:42.94 this morning. The Bulldogs have three in the top eight and the rest of the three in the bottom eight, setting up for as much as 75 points in this event alone.
Breeja Larson will race to defend her title in the 100 breaststroke tonight, leading qualifiers with a 58.03, just three tenths off her American record that she set at the SEC championships last month.
Rachel Bootsma of California will try to win the 100 fly and 100 back tonight to try to be the first person since Cal's Natalie Coughlin to win the double in the women's meet. She is second after the 100 fly finals and is the top seed after the 100 back with a great morning swim of 50.75. Cindy Tran will try to make it three in a row with wins as the fourth seed in the final.
The 800 free relay will be swum tonight as a timed final event, and Georgia will be tough to beat in this event tonight, especially since the Bulldogs broke the American record in this event at the SEC championships, have an ample number of swimmers in the individual 200 free tonight and have won the past three years.
We'll bring you complete coverage of finals from Indianapolis on swimmingworld.com. We are also bringing you video interviews with swimmers and coaches on deck in Indy, and you can see those on swimmingworld.com. I will be hosting our Race Day segment after tonight's finals with our on-deck correspondent Tiffany Elias, so don't miss that. That's going to do it for Streamlined News today. Thanks for watching.