Welcome to the live blogging of the final day of the 2010 NCAA Women’s Championships. Click here to see the setup for the final day, based on today’s prelims results. The top 5 teams, Stanford, Georgia, Arizona, Cal, and Florida all have a chance at taking home the crown.
4:56 PM-We’re through 4 heats out of 5 in the women’s mile. So far, Cal’s Lauren Boyle is the top time with a 15:59.57, her best time of the season. Emily Brunneman of Michigan also swam a nice time in the 4th heat, at 16:00.93, followed by Towson’s Meredith Budner at 16:01.36. All three of those times could compete for a top 8 spot. Stanford’s Kelsi Ditto adds 9 seconds and probably falls out of the points.
Now for the final heat, which will feature 2 Georgia Bulldogs in lanes 4 & 5. I Expect the entire heat to be under 16 minutes. The final steet will start at 6:00. See you then!
5:53 PM- Things are getting geared back up at the Purdue Aquatics Center. ESPN is at the meet to broadcast the meet live on ESPN360.com. Final heat of the 1650 is finishing up their warmup.
6:00 PM- Final heat is on the blocks. It’s time to get this party started!
6:03 PM- Wendy Trott of Georgia takes the early lead through 200 yards, as expected. The outside smokers, Haley Anderson of USC and Caitlin Hamilton are keeping up. The field is still very tight, with only Erika Hajnal having fallen off of the pack.
6:08 PM-At the 800 mark, Trott has opened a 2-body length lead on the field at 7:53. Anderson and Ashley Steenvorden are duking it out for second and third. Doesn’t look like anybody’s going to catch Trott, she keeps stretching her lead out.
6:12 PM- 1200 yard down. Trotts got the race in hand, and is lapping swimmers. Alicia Aemiesegger and Anderson are in a dead-heat for second, and Steenvoorden is in fourth. Lauren Boyle’s time looks good to hold up for top 5 at least. Chelsea Nauta of Georgia is fading all the way back to 7th, and is going to likely be below many of the 4th heat swimmers. That might be the final nail in the Bulldogs’ coffin for hopes at the title, despite Trott’s win.
Trott took care of her business and won the 1650 for the second straight year in a great time of 15:48.87, followed by Aemisegger of Princeton in 15:57.02. Trott was firmly in control for the entire race, and after the first 150 yards, pulled away without any real challenge. Aemisegger had a strong back half of her race to grab second. Cal’s Lauren Boyle from the second-to-last heat (remember, the 1650 is a timed final), at 15:59.57 was good enough to hang on to third, but just barely. Haley Anderson of USC was fourth in 15:59.99.
Shockingly, Chelsea Nauta of Georgia slides all the way out of the top 16 in an event she was seeded second in. And with that, the Bulldogs’ valiant effort to come back from a relay DQ yesterday is ended, and Georgia will not win the title. Lauren Boyle’s surprise third place finish was a nice pick-up for the Golden Bears, and leaves Cal as the favorite to take a shot at Stanford in the overall standings.
6:24 PM- The next race is the 200 backstroke, which should be a great battle between Kateryna Fasenko of Indiana, and Gemma Atkinson of Florida. Florida’s Teresa Crippen, who was the second seed out of prelims, seems to have burnt all of her engines out on prelims, whereas the other two have another gear to kick into, but perhaps she will surprise me and compete.
6:26 PM- B final is in the water. Arizona has 3 in the consolation final, and they need big points to stay in the chase. The Wildcats also have 2 in the A-final. Through the 100, Iullia Kuzhil of Kansas, who won the consolation in the 100, has a big lead.
6:28 PM-Kuzhil wins for Kansas in 1:53.74. Jana Mangimelli of georgia takes 10th, but probably not enough. Arizona grabs 11th, 12th, and 14th, which is good, but maybe not good enough.
6:30 PM-Swimmers are at the blocks for the 200 backstroke final. Spofforth going for her 4th NCAA title in this event. Fasenko should take the lead early, but Gator girls will have to try and ride the wave and catch her.
6:33 PM- Fasenko takes the lead at 53.90 through the 100. Can she hold on? Spofforth should make her move…now.
6:34 PM- And Fasenko pulls an upset in 1:49.92. If it was a 225 backstroke, Spofforth probably catches her, but Fasenko got herself a big enough lead to hold off. Great finish between the two seniors. Crippen is third.
Kateryna Fasenko of Indiana, hands Gemma Spofforth her first ever NCAA Championship loss in the 200 backstroke by taking the race out hard, and not giving Spofforth enough room to catch up. Fasenko’s time was 1:49.92, but was well off of Spofforth’s NCAA record. This is a tough way for Spofforth to finish her career, but it was a dual that came down to 2 great competitors, and Fasenko came out on top. Spofforth finished in 1:50.24.
Florida also nabbed third place honors from Teresa Crippen in 1:50.99. Presley Bard of USC was fourth, followed by Mei Christensen of Virginia, and Kristen Heiss of Texas A&M. Caitlin Iversen, and Ana Agy, both of Arizona.
Once again, Arizona made huge moves in prelims, but were unable to move up any in finals. It may be a two-horse race at this point between Stanford and Cal, despite Arizona temporarily having the lead. They just don’t have the guns in the 100 freestyle to hang on it seems like. Don’t fall asleep on Florida though, who has 2 divers in the A-final of platform diving. They have jumped to third and have a chance, albeit a small one.
Team scores after this event-Arizona 303.5, Georgia 289.5, Florida 281, Cal 272, Stanford 266.5, and Texas A&M 235.
6:40 PM-In the B final, Hannah Wilson of Cal wins. Arizona picks up 10th place points, Stanford gets 11th and 12th, and Georgia is in 13th. Cal also gets 17th.
6:43 PM- Does anyone else think these in pool interviews where we can see up the interviewers nose are awkward?
6:44 PM- 100 Freestyle Championship Final is on the blocks. I like Wilkinson of A&M in her final race to finally get the elusive victory.
6:45 PM- And Julia Wilkinson does it! You saw it here. Liv Jensen had a huge lead for the first 95 yards, but Wilkinson has a huge kick in from the flags to grab a great victory. Wilkinson was second in this event the last time she swam it at the 2008 NCAA Championships.
Texas A&M’s Julia Wilkinson, after finishing runner-up in the 200 IM and third in the 200 freestyle, finally got the win in the elusive 100. After going into the 2008 NCAA Championships as the top overall seed, she had a disappointing second place finish. Determined not to let that happen again, she had an amazing finish to snag the title in 47.61. Liv Jensen of Cal opened up a huge lead through 75 yards, which was no surprise since she won the 50. But she began to fade through the last 10 yards, and slipped to third in 47.77, which was still welcome points for Cal. Morgan Scroggy of Georgia snuck in to take second in 47.72. Stanford took a hit and might have let their opponents back into the race with a 6th and 7th place finish from Smit and Dwelley. Florida, who is newly back in the hunt, took 4th in the form of Shara Stafford.
Team scores after this event-Georgia and Arizona have moved into a tie at 310.5 for the overall lead. Stanford is third with 302.5, Cal is fourth with 299, Florida slips back to sixth in 296. Who’s going to win? I don’t have a clue. Up next-200 breaststroke.
6:54 PM-Alexandra Ellis of Cal gets 10th out of the consolation final. Only swimmer relevant to the team scoring at this point. Brittany Beauchanan wins in 2:08.58.
6:55 PM- I like Atkinson to win the second straight for the Aggies. This is her money event. Smith Second, Chandler third, but should be a great dual.
6:57 PM- Chandler, the sprinter, takes it out hard through the first half in the lead. Atkinson and Smith should reign her in on the back half.
6:58 PM-And Texas A&M seniors take two in a row! Atkinson, after getting no love from the announcers the whole race, comes from out of nowhere to blow by Smith and Chandler for the win in 2:07.38. Smith gets second in 2:07.50, and Annie Chandler is third in 2:07.68. Couldn’t ask for any better of a race than that. The Aggies are beside themselves with joy for their two graduating seniors. Can the Aggies parlay this into a win in the 400 free relay, where they finished first after prelims?
The Texas A&M senior class has made it clear that they were going to go out of their last meet with a bang. Alia Atkinson came from out of nowhere in the last 50 to blow by Stanford’s Elizabeth Smith and Arizona’s Annie Chandler to grab the event win in 2:07.38 to follow up her teammate Wilkinson’s win in the 100 freestyle. These two wins were Texas A&M’s first and second ever swimming National Titles. Smith was second in 2:07.50, and Chandler was third in 2:07.68.
During the race, Chandler, who is a sprinter, took out a big lead hard. Slowly, she was reeled in, first by Smith in the third 50, and then by Atkinson in the final 50. All 3 had a chance to win going into the wall, but Atkinson chose against a final stretch and reached for the wall to outtouch the field.
Team scores after this event-Arizona 326.5, Stanford 319.5, Cal 318, Georgia 310.5, Florida 296, Texas A&M 275. Every point counts right now folks.
7:06 PM- In the B-final, Arizona’s Alyssa Anderson and Georgia’s Lis Caprioglio need big points for their teams.
7:07 PM- Alyssa Anderson wanted it more, and took the consolation final in 1:55.13. Georgia’s Caprioglio slipped back to 15th. Not good for the Bulldogs
7:08 PM- I like Katinka Hosszu, Breeden, Hersey, and Depaul in the A-final, in that order. Hosszu would be an upset over Breeden the record holder, but I think she can pull it off.
7:11PM- Breeden has a great start of the blocks. Can I change my picks?
7:11 PM- Breeden takes it out hard in 53.32, looks like the adrenaline was rushing there. Looks like she’s going to hold it wire to wire. Depaul looks like she could push.
7:12 PM- And Breeden hangs on! Her stroke looked UGLY the last 12 years, but she had just enough to hold off the Trojans. Hosszu second, Depaul third. Hersey continues disappointing meet in fourth.
The story of the final day up to this point has been swimmers taking it out hard. In the 200 backstroke, that swimmer was able to hang on. In the 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke, they weren’t. Chalk Elaine Breeden up in the column of those who stuck it out. After taking the race out VERY fast in 53.32, .8 ahead of Hosszu in second, but coming into the last 7 or 8 strokes of the race, she faded hard. Her strokes got short, and her pace became labored. The two Trojan swimmers, Hosszu and Depaul, began to creep up on either side, but just ran out of room by a stroke or two.
Breeden’s winning time of 1:52.39 wasn’t even in the same neighborhood as her NCAA record of 1:49.92, set last year, but it was clear that Breeden was swimming for the team and not the time, and swam the race how she needed to for the win. Hosszu was second in 1:52.52, and Depaul was third in 1:53.19 Hersey of Texas finished 4th.
Florida picked up huge points from Crippen, who just finished the 200 backstroke, and Jemma Lowe, who finsihed 5th and 6th.
Team scores after this event-Stanford 339.5, Arizona 335.5, Cal 329, Florida 323, Georgia 312.5. Florida is the only of these teams with divers who will score in the platform diving.
7:22 PM If I told you that the Florida Gators were going to go into the final race, the 400 freestyle, with a lead, would you have believed me? I wouldn’t have believed me either. But that’s exactly what’s going to happen. As the only team with finalists in platform diving, Florida is guaranteed at least 23 points, although probably more, which means they will have at least a 6.5 point lead over Stanford headed into the 400 free relay, which means they don’t need to win the relay to win the meet, regardless of how the other teams finish.
7:26 PM- Texas A&M’s Janie Potvin won the consolation final earlier today. The Florida divers get off to a slow start, and are sitting sixth and seventh through the first round of dives. Indiana’s Amy Korthauer had a huge first-dive score of 76.80 to take the lead.
7:35 PM- The Gator divers are currently sitting 6th and 7th, and that’s the scoring we’ll go off of to discuss the 400 free relay. This would send Florida into the final with an 8.5 poitn lead over Stanford, a 12.5 point lead over Arizona, and a 19 point lead over Cal. Florida was seeded 4th after finals.
If the diving points hold, that means that a third place finish guarantees the victory for the Gators. A fifth place finish would guarantee them top 2 ahead of Arizona. If Stanford wins the relay, Florida needs to be second or third to win the meet. If Stanford doesn’t win, then Florida just needs to be within three rankings of them to win the meet. Cal and Arizona need to win the relay, and get help to win the meet. Stanford is unlikely to finish lower than third, and are the favorites to win after adding Elaine Breeden, who sat out the prelim.
Florida is rooting heavily for Texas A&M, who is seeded first coming into finals, to win the meet. The Aggies are riding high after their first two national title in school history, including their anchor Julia Wilkinson in the 100 freestyle.
7:44 PM- Headed into the final round of diving, Kara Salamone from Florida had an excellent score of 69.60 to push her into fourth place. If that result holds, it would give Florida extra points, meaning they would lead Stanford by 10.5 headed into the relay.
7:47 PM- In the 400 free relay, I think Texas A&M is going to win the race. They are riding too high, and Stanford is not swimming well tonight. But Stanford will finish second, and I think Cal third. This means Florida would be guaranteed to win the meet, if diving holds. I think they’ll have the rush and finish 4th, just to really nail it down.
8:01 PM- The Platform diving is over, and Florida should be kissing their divers right now. Senior Kara Salamone finished third, for 16 points, and Monica Dodson finished eighth, for 11 points. This gives Florida a 10.5 point lead headed into the relay. If Stanford wins the 400 free relay, Florida needs to finish second or third to win the meet. If anybody else wins, Florida needs to come in no more than 5 places behind Stanford to win the meet, unless Arizona wins.
If Arizona, who is currently 15.5 points behind Florida, wins, then Florida must finish no worse than 6th to win the meet.
Based on how I expect things to go, this means Stanford must win the 400 free relay to have a chance to win the meet. Arizona wins the 400 free relay, it gets messy.
In summation, if Stanford wins, Florida needs to finish fourth. If anybody else wins, Florida can guarantee a win with a 6th place finish. If anyone besides Stanford or Arizona wins, Florida can guarantee a win with a 7th place finish. If Stanford and Arizona both finish outside of the top 2, then Florida wins no matter with any time that does not start and end with a DQ. Got that?
Folks, this meet could be won by .5 points. That has to be a record, because it can’t get any closer. One team or the other could end up losing this meet by a tie, or .01 seconds. Incredible.
Chen Ni, of IUPUI, wins the Platform diving in 325.50, followed by Carrie Dragland of Alabama, and an amazing, unexpected third place finish by Florida’s Kara Salamone, who, coupled with 8th place from Monica Dodson, catapults her team into the lead.
400 Free Relay
8:12 PM- Final race of the meet. I’m not even going to pretend to care about the B-final, although I think USC will win easily. For the A-final, my picks are A&M, Stanford, Cal, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Auburn, and Virginia, in that exact order. This would give the Gators the win.
8:15 PM- In case you were wondering, surprise consolation victory from Wisconsin in 3:16.66. A wiped out USC squad finishes second in 3:16.93. Now it’s time for the whole enchilada, the big spaghetti and meatballs, the kit’n’kaboodle, for the title, the 400 free relay!
8:20 PM- Georgia in lead after 100. Florida and Stanford both back in the pack.
8:21 PM- Florida in second halfway through, handing it off to Spofforth. I love their odds their! And they have the lead at 250 yards!
8:21 PM- Florida has the lead after 3 legs! Smit pulls ahead to give Stanford the win, and Florida finishes third to give the Gators the 2010 NCAA Team Championship! Congratulations!
And that’s that, folks. Florida wins the 2010 NCAA Women’s Championship. Their relay quartet of Elizabeth Kemp, Shara Stafford, Gemma Spofforth, and Jamie Bohunicky did more than enough with their third place finish to win the meet, despite Stanford’s relay victory in 3:12.32. The Cal Golden Bears finished second in 3:12.67, with Florida’s meet-sealing time of 3:13.43 good for third.
1. Florida 372
2. Stanford 369.5
3. California 363
4. Arizona 395
5. Georgia 342.5
6. Texas A&M 311
7. USC 251
8. Auburn 153
9. Virginia 151
10. Indiana 133
Stay tuned for more from the swimmers circle, incl