NCAA Division I Women’s Championships: California Takes Control During Day Three Prelims

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AUSTIN, Texas, March 19. THE final day of preliminary swimming is complete at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships being held at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the campus of the University of Texas.

200 back
Wisconsin's Maggie Meyer bettered her personal best with a leading time of 1:51.56 during prelims. She'd previously stood 13th all time in the event with a 1:51.59, but moved up to 11th all time. Missouri's Dominique Bouchard qualified second in 1:52.26, while Florida's Elizabeth Beisel picked up the third-seed with a 1:52.37. Meyer will be looking for Wisconsin's first NCAA title in women's swimming.

Florida's Teresa Crippen (1:52.56), Georgia's Kelsey Gaid (1:52.75), California's Deborah Roth (1:52.96), Stanford's Maya Dirado (1:53.36) and USC's Presley Bard (1:53.41) also made finals. Notably, Roth dropped massive amounts of time from her seed with a 1:55.48 as her entry time.

Penn State's Amy Modglin (1:53.66), Texas' Katie Riefenstahl (1:53.83), Arizona's Sarah Denninghoff (1:54.02), Arizona's Hannah Ross (1:54.17), Missouri's Lauren Lavigna (1:54.47), Virginia's Meredith Cavalier (1:54.76), California's Stephanie Au (1:54.83) and Arizona's Aubrey Peacock (1:54.87) will swim in the B heat.

Top 10 Average Scoring Running Projections*:
California (314.375), Georgia (289.25), USC (267.75), Stanford (206.75), Arizona (197.875), Florida (178.5), Texas (176.625), Minnesota (139), Wisconsin (132.75), Auburn (127)

100 free
Auburn's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace took a run at her NCAA and U.S. Open record in the 100 free with a strong time of 46.91. Her record stands at 46.81 with a pair of those times at the SEC Championships last month. Vanderpool-Wallace now owns three of the four sub-47 seconds times in existence, with Natalie Coughlin holding the American record with a 46.85 from 2007. Vanderpool-Wallace will be looking to become Auburn's first 100 free NCAA titlist, and add the 100 free to her 50 free title from earlier in the meet.

Stanford's Kate Dwelley qualified second with a 47.62, just off her 12th-ranked personal best of 47.50, while Arizona's Margo Geer clocked a 47.70 to qualify third. California's Liv Jensen (47.94), Georgia's Morgan Scroggy (48.01), California's Hannah Wilson (48.16), Texas' Karlee Bispo (48.16) and Georgia's Megan Romano (48.18) comprise the rest of the championship heat.

California's Erica Dagg (48.21), Virginia's Lauren Perdue (48.35), LSU's Amanda Kendall (48.46), USC's Kasey Carlson (48.48), Maryland's Ann Fittin (48.48), Georgia's Allison Schmitt (48.48), Flordia's Shara Stafford (48.51) and Auburn's Caitlin Geary (48.60) grabbed the transfer spots into the consolation heat.

Top 10 Average Scoring Running Projections*:
California (348.5), Georgia (323.375), USC (272.375), Stanford (221.5), Arizona (212.625), Texas (191.375), Florida (183.125), Auburn (146.375), Minnesota (139), Wisconsin (132.75)

200 breast
Minnesota's Jillian Tyler put on a show for the prelim crowd with a sterling time in the distance breaststroke. Tyler tossed a 2:06.01 onto the scoreboard, moved up from 14th all time in the event to third behind Rebecca Soni (2:04.75) and Tara Kirk (2:05.73). Overall, that swim stands seventh on the all time performances list, and puts Tyler within striking distance of become just the third swimmer to clear 2:06.

California's Caitlin Leverenz turned in a 2:07.26 for the second seed. That swim stands 14th all time on the performances list, but is not Leverenz's best in the event. Her personal best in the distance breast is a fourth-ranked 2:06.55 from December 2010.

Texas A&M's Breeja Larson, a newcomer to the sport having just begun late in her high school career, clocked a 2:08.03 to move to 14th all time on the performers chart.

Minnesota's Haley Spencer (2:08.80), South Carolina's Amanda Rutqvist (2:09.00), George Mason's Ashley Danner (2:09.39), Denver's Grace Kittle (2:09.49) and Texas' Laura Sogar (2:09.95) comprise the rest of the A final.

Stanford's Elizabeth Smith (2:10.17), Georgia's Michelle McKeehan (2:10.18), Tennessee's Martina Moravcikova (2:10.31), UCLA's Brittany Beauchan (2:10.42), USC's Jessica Schmitt (2:10.60), Florida's Hilda Luthersdottir (2:10.85), Indiana's Allysa Vavra (2:10.94) and Arizona's Chelsey Salli (2:11.13) picked up the B final scoring spots.

Top 10 Average Scoring Running Projections*:
California (363.25), Georgia (328), USC (277), Stanford (226.125), Arizona (217.25), Texas (206.125), Florida (187.75), Minnesota (168.5), Auburn (146.375), Texas A&M (138.75)

200 fly
The championship heat could produce something special this evening as both California's Amanda Sims (1:53.17) and USC's Katinka Hosszu (1:53.22) dipped under 1:54 in the morning. Sims moved up from 15th to 11th all time with her effort, while Hosszu is already the second-ranked swimmer of all time with a 1:51.02 from December 2010. Sims will be looking to keep Hosszu from winning three individual titles this year. USC has never won the 200 fly, while California has four titles all by way of Mary T. Meagher in 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987.

USC's Lyndsay DePaul (1:54.22), Texas A&M's Cammile Adams (1:54.40), Arizona's Alyssa Anderson (1:54.63), Tennessee's Kelsey Floyd (1:54.72), Florida's Teresa Crippen (1:54.80) and California's Sara Isakovic (1:54.94) also earned spots in the championship heat.

Texas A&M's Rita Medrano (1:55.00), Towson's Cari Czarnecki (1:55.99), Western Kentucky's Claire Donahue (1:56.50), Texas' Leah Gingrich (1:56.60), UCLA's Yasi Jahanshahi (1:56.70), USC's Tanya Krisman (1:56.89), California's Katie Kastes (1:56.95) and Indiana's Brittany Barwegen (1:57.03) pocketed lanes in the B final.

California going 2 up and 1 down with Georgia not scoring any points in the event potentially locked up the team title for the Golden Bears as shown in the projections below.

Top 10 Average Scoring Running Projections*:
California (397.375), Georgia (328), USC (311.125), Arizona (232), Stanford (226.125), Texas (210.75), Florida (202.5), Minnesota (168.5), Texas A&M (158.125), Auburn (146.375)

400 free relay
Auburn's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace has moved into the elite status where a top 15 time is becoming pedestrian. Vanderpool-Wallace threw down a 47.39 to lead off Auburn's Caitlin Geary, Hannah Riordan and Emily Bos paced prelims with a 3:12.30, and will be looking for Auburn's second triumph in the event in NCAA history. Notably, Vanderpool-Wallace's time was not just the fastest leadoff – it was the fastest split out of relays.

Previously, Becky Short, Eileen Coparropa, Kirsty Coventry and Maggie Bowen grabbed the previous win for the Tigers with a 3:14.15 in 2003.

Arizona's Margo Geer, Kait Flederbach, Grace Finnegan and Monica Drake qualified second in 3:12.77, while Georgia's Morgan Scroggy, Megan Romano, Melanie Margalis and Allison Schmitt qualified third in 3:12.89.

Stanford (3:12.90), California (3:14.30), Texas (3:14.67), Wisconsin (3:15.29) and Tennessee (3:15.91) also will swim in the championship final.

Virginia (3:16.19), USC (3:16.83), Maryland (3:16.87), Florida (3:17.02), Texas A&M (3:17.30), Indiana (3:17.44), Ohio State (3:17.72) and Purdue (3:18.81) made the consolation final.

California looks to have salted away the 2011 NCAA team title with its morning performance today, barring any crazy disqualifications.

Top 10 Average Scoring Running Projections*:
California (426.875), Georgia (357.5), USC (320.375), Arizona (261.5), Stanford (255.625), Texas (240.25), Florida (211.75), Auburn (175.875), Minnesota (168.5), Texas A&M (167.375)

Platform diving
Miami (Florida)'s Brittany Viola, who won this event back in 2008, will be looking to return to the top of the heap after a two-year drought with a top-seeded 344.30 points tally into finals. Arizona State's Elina Eggers qualified second with a 311.40, while Stanford's Margaret Hostage took third with 305.30 points.

Miami (Florida)'s Carrie Dragland (304.40), Auburn's Vennie Dantin (303.05), Texas' Maren Taylor (299.50), Kentucky's Lisa Faulkner (294.95) and Texas A&M's Janie Potvin (286.05) made the top eight to dive this evening.

Duke's Haley Ishimatsu (283.85), Texas' Shelby Cullinan (281.40), USC's Victoria Ishimatsu (279.00), Indiana's Amy Cozad (278.25), Purdue's Kara Cook (258.95), Purdue's Erin Mertz (257.10), Florida's Monica Dodson (249.75) and Ohio State's Katherine Bell (249.30) will vie for the consolation heat points later in between sessions.

Top 10 Average Scoring Running Projections*:
California (426.875), Georgia (357.5), USC (325), Stanford (270.375), Arizona (261.5), Texas (259.625), Florida (216.375), Auburn (190.625), Texas A&M (182.125), Minnesota (168.5)

* Average Scoring Projections based on the average points allotted to an A finalist (14.75) and a B finalist (4.625). Double points for relays.

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