NCAA Division I Women’s Championships: Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace Blazes 50 Free Triumph

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AUSTIN, Texas, March 17. AUBURN's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace lived up to her early favorite status in the sprint 50-yard freestyle at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships.

Vanderpool-Wallace ripped off a triumphant time of 21.38 to hold off a star-studded finale. The time is the sixth fastest ever, although Vanderpool-Wallace holds a lifetime best with a 21.34 from SECs last month that makes her the second-best performer in the event. The win is Auburn's first ever in the event at NCAAs, which is somewhat surprising considering how dominant the men's sprint program has been over the years.

"My details this morning weren't very good, so all afternoon I was just thinking about my start and my turns," Vanderpool-Wallace said. "That's all I was thinking about going into that race. I've worked hard all year, so it's great to achieve something. It's awesome for Auburn. I hope it builds our confidence so we can swim faster."

Defending champion, Liv Jensen of California, settled for second with a 21.50 – the ninth-fastest ever – to move up to fourth in the all-time performer charts. Only Lara Jackson (21.27), Vanderpool-Wallace and Natalie Coughlin (21.46) have been faster.

Super frosh Margo Geer of Arizona fell off her prelim pace with a third-place time of 21.93. She'd gone a 21.79 in the morning, which stands 11th all time. Stanford's Betsy Webb (22.05), USC's Kasey Carlson (22.13), Florida's Sarah Bateman (22.15), LSU's Jane Trepp (22.24) and Virginia's Lauren Perdue (22.32) also vied for the NCAA title.

Stanford's Sam Woodward and Kate Dwelley tied for the B final win with matching 22.22s. LSU's Amanda Kendall (22.25), Florida's Shara Stafford (22.45), California's Hannah Wilson (22.47), Texas' Bethany Adams (22.49), Wisconsin's Beckie Thompson (22.52) and North Carolina's Rebecca Kane (22.53) placed 11th through 16th overall.

Georgia remained in the lead with 105 points, while USC improved its second-place tally with 79 points. Stanford (78) and California (75) also broke into the 70s with Arizona standing fifth overall with 67 points.

Swimming World's NCAA Division I Women's Championships Notes Package Sponsored by NISCA