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MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 21. DURING the opening event of the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships in Minneapolis, Stanford came within a whisker of taking down the NCAA, American and U.S. Open records in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Stanford’s Maddy Schaefer (21.91), Lia Neal (21.37), Felicia Lee (21.20) and Katie Olsen (21.75) popped a 1:26.23 to win the finale. That swim just missed Arizona’s amazing 2009 record of 1:26.20 set by Lara Jackson, Lindsey Kelly, Justine Schluntz and Taylor Baughman to win that year. The last of a four-year run of success for the Wildcats.
That’s Stanford’s seventh victory in the event’s history, tying them with Arizona for second behind Texas’ nine triumphs. Stanford has won in 1982, 1983, 1986, 1993, 1994, and in 2012. It returns the title to the Cardinal after a one-year stay in Knoxville, Tenn.
California’s Kayline Bing (22.08), Cindy Tran (21.65), Missy Franklin (21.50) and Farida Osman (21.44) took second in 1:26.67, while Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga (21.67), Maddie Locus (21.91), Jessica Graber (22.07) and Chantal Van Landeghem (21.54) pocketed third in 1:27.19.
Texas A&M (1:27.39), Tennessee (1:27.69), Wisconsin (1:27.97), Arizona (1:28.11) and USC (1:29.41) also vied for the national title.
Florida stormed its way to victory in the consolation heat as Ellese Zalewski (22.31), Sinead Russell (22.07), Natalie Hinds (21.07) and Ashlee Linn (22.09) took the consolation win in 1:27.54. NC State placed second in 1:28.16, while Auburn took third in 1:28.72.
Minnesota (1:29.17), UCLA (1:29.22), San Diego State (1:29.33), Texas (1:29.42) and Virginia (1:29.72) rounded out the consolation finale.