Tennessee Continues Tear in Relays on Night 2 at Women’s NCAA Championships

The middle day of the 2013 Women’s NCAA Championships is probably the best day of the meet for the Cal Golden Bears, the defending champions, and the weakest day for the Georgia Bulldogs, the leaders so far in this meet. But including Tennessee, who has two divers in the A-Final, this could be a single-digit meet at the end of the day, so watch for every opportunity for an athlete to move up or down even a spot or two, as they’re all crucial.

  • 200 Medley Relay
  • 400 IM
  • 100 Fly
  • 200 Free
  • 100 Breast
  • 100 Back
  • 3-Meter Diving
  • 800 Free Relay (no preliminary heats)

Women’s 200 Medley Relay – Final

Three up, and three down. Tennessee has continued their unbelievable run at this NCAA Championship meet by winning their third relay. To reiterate what we shared yesterday, the Volunteers hadn’t won a single relay coming into this meet in program history. Now they’ve won the first three relays of the meet, including the 200 medley in 1:34.95. Molly Hannis continued her up-and-down swims this championship season and split 26.1 as the Volunteers rolled to a win in 1:34.95.

(Aside: Winning the meet’s first three relays isn’t as rare as it might seem. Cal did it in 2011; Arizona won all five in 2008.)

Cal was 2nd in 1:35.53, going from near-even but giving up half-a-second on the freestyle anchor leg. Rachel Bootsma continued to be the star of their team at this meet with a 23.40.

Arizona took 3rd, including a 21.20 from Margo Geer, meaning no sub-21 freestyle splits at this meet (even though both Geer and Romano have done it in their careers).

Florida was 4th in 1:36.06, getting a blistering anchor of their own from Natalie Hinds. The Florida back-half was really killer, with Ellese Zalewski splitting 22.85 on the butterfly leg: a good omen for her upcoming 100 fly.

Texas A&M was run-down by Florida on the anchor leg and finished 5th in 1:36.08.

Wisconsin won the B-Final in 1:37.26. Georgia stuck to their guns in this relay and finished 14th in 1:38.31. That let Tennessee pull into the lead, though that would only last until the 200 free.

Women’s 400 IM – Finals

Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel and Texas A&M’s Cammile Adams both went out hard on the butterfly, but Beisel had the backstroe to back it up. She took the race out in 1:54.82, and even held off Caitlin Leverenz on the breaststroke leg. Beisel led this race for the last 300 yards, and took the win in 4:00.49.

After a few years of Julia Smits and Katinka Hosszus pushing the pace, we became accustomed to seeing sub-four-minute 400 IM’s (four did it last year). Don’t forget that a 4:00 is still a very good time, and not-too-long ago would’ve been among the best times ever.

Stanford’s Maya DiRado , splitting under a minute on her backstroke leg, was 2nd in 4:01.02.

Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz was 3rd in 4:02.98. She was a 1:06.85 on her breaststroke leg, as compared to a 1:04.8 on that leg last season where she was 2nd overall.

Cammile Adams was 4th in 4:03.74 after leading past the butterfly; USC’s Stina Gardell was 5th in 4:04.66. A&M’s Sarah Henry, like Adams, pushed the butterfly leg, and was just solid across this swim. She took off on the freestyle, as she’s wont to do, to jump Georgia’s Melanie Margalis (7th – 4:05.36).

Meghan Hawthorne won the B-Final in 4:06.03, followed by Louisville’s Tanja Kylliainen in 4:07.30.

Women’s 100 Fly – Finals

Auburn’s Olivia Scott was the fastest returning swimmer in the women’s 100 fly, and she followed that suit to win this year’s race in 51.64 – dipping pretty far under her prelims swim for the win.

Cal’s Rachel Bootsma, on the front-half of a big double, took 2nd in 51.68. She and Scott split this race nearly identically, as did Florida’s Ellese Zalewski, who was 3rd in 52.69. The race came down to fingertips at any one wall, and Scott, the relative veteran as the only of the top four finishers who swam at this meet last year, took the win.

Louisville freshman Kelsi Worrell was 4th in 51.80 after turning better than 24 seconds (the only swimmer in the field to do so). She’s got amazing 50 yard speed in this butterfly; she’s a very good 200 freestyler already, so with another year of good hard training and closing up that last 50 yards, she could be a force. The top four in that are all underclassmen, so this race is going to be killer again next year, especially when you consider the two freshmen who were at the top of the B-Final: Kendyl Stewart and Natalie Hinds in 51.89 each.

Arizona’s Megan Lafferty was 6th in 52.09, followed by Ting Quah (52.09) and Virginia Tech’s Heather Savage (52.14).

Women’s 200 Free – Finals

Nobody touched Megan Romano’s NCAA Record from last year in this race, but Georgia’s Allison Schmitt took her 6th career individual title with a 1:41.85.

That top-end time may not have been as good as last season, but overall this was a very fast and deep 200 free final. Liz Pelton from Cal came on with a big last 50 split (25.88) to take 2nd in 1:42.13; Megan Romano was 3rd in 1:42.64, and Shannon Vreeland was 4th in 1:42.97. That’s four swimmers better than a 1:43 in this final.

(Side note: Schmitt and Pelton are both NBAC alums, making this a 1-2 for Bob Bowman alums).

Tennessee’s Lindsay Gendron improved half-a-second from prelims to place 5th in 1:43.77 and score more crucial points for Tennessee as they fight through the individual events to stay in this race. A&M’s Lili Ibanez was 6th in 1:44.66, followed by Cal’s Caroline Piehl (1:45.14) and Stanford’s Andie Murez (1:45.25).

Cal’s Rachael Acker, who has an important role as a sprinter for Cal but whose best event this year has been this 200, won the B-Final in 1:44.33. She held off Virginia’s Lauren Perdue and her 1:44.41.

Overall, this final was neutral for Cal and Georgia in the team battle as compared to prelims – which is a good thing for Georgia. Pelton at least prevented a 1-2-3 Bulldog sweep.

Women’s 100 Breast – Finals

This hasn’t been a meet with a ton of records going down, but Texas A&M’s Breeja Larson at least was able to get her own NCAA Championship Meet record in the 100 breaststroke with a 57.63 for her second-straight title in this event. The swim was faster than she was in winning last year, but not as good as her in-season American Record.

USC’s Kasey Carlson, who’s having the best NCAA Championship meet of her career, was tied with Larson at the 50, but the back half of this race is where Breeja is so good. Carlson ended up 2nd in 58.36, which is a lifetime best for her. As a junior, that’s the first time she’s hit a season-best at an NCAA Championship meet. That’s especially impressive this year, where best times have been so hard to come by.

Columbia’s Katie Meili finished 3rd in 59.14; she, like most of this final, added from prelims. Arkansas’ Nikki Daniels was 4th in 59.18, just besting Notre Dame’s Emma Reaney in 59.19. The two sophomores were the youngest swimmers in this final: a rare one with no freshmen.

Texas’ Laura Sogar took 6th in 59.25, Arizona’s Ellyn Baumgardner was 7th in 59.37, and Arizona’s Chelsey Salli was 8th in 59.79.

Meanwhile, Tennessee’s Molly Hannis won the B-Final in the 100 breaststroke in 58.84: a time that would have been 3rd had she been a little faster in the morning.

Women’s 100 Backstroke – Final

This year’s freshman backstroking class is surely living up to the hype early in their careers. The top three finishers in the A-Final were all rookies, with Cal’s Rachel Bootsma swimming a 50.13 for the victory. She was followed by two Canadians: Florida’s Sinead Russell (51.46) and Indiana’s Brooklyn Snodgrass (51.52) on the medal podium.

Add to that Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew as the B0Final champion, and youth has been most definitely served. What’s scary is we’ve got another killer class of backstrokers coming into college next year, including swimmers like Missy Franklin (Cal) and Olivia Smoliga (Georgia). Georgia will really bea ble to use those points to fight back Cal, as the Bulldogs didn’t score in this 100 backstroke.

Bootsma’s swim was a historic one, though. It was the fastest 100 backstroke we’ve ever seen by a freshman, and the second-fastest in history behind only a 49.97 by Natalie Coughlin set at the 2002 NCAA Championships. The five fastest 100 backstrokes, between Pelton, Tran, and Coughlin, now all belong to Cal Golden Bears.

Stanford’s Felicia Lee was 4th in 51.58, and the two-time defending champ from Cal Cindy Tran was 5th in 51.92.

Texas A&M’s Paige Miller was 6th in 51.93, followed by MIssouri’s Dominique Bouchard and A&M’s Tess Simpson.

The Top 6 in the A-Final and the top 5 in the B-Final were all underclassmen.

Women’s 3 Meter – Final

After a year of hibernation for Olympic preparations, Purdue is back on top of the diving world. Casey Matthews, hitting two dives north of 70 points, won the women’s three-meter on Friday night witha  score of 386.55.

As good as the men’s program has been with athletes like David Boudia, this is actually the first ever NCAA title for the Purdue women’s diving program. In fact, it’s their first ever NCAA title for the women’s swimmers or divers: a historic moment for the Boilermakers.

Hailey Casper was 2nd in 377.70, with Eastern Michigan’s Kelly Hendricks taking 3rd in 356.05.

In terms of the team battle, Tennessee again had two in this A-Final, with a 5th place finish from Jodie McGroarty and a 7th-place finish from Tori Lamp to stay in the hunt in the team battle.

Laura Ryan kept the Bulldogs in the lead, but just barely, by finishing 13th. That’s four valuable points for the Bulldogs.

Women’s 800 Free Relay

Georgia left their 800 free relay stacked, and though they were well off of the time they swam at SEC’s (likely the difference between it being a day-1-of-5 event at SEC’s and a day-2-of-3 event at NCAA’s) they still won easily in 6:54.43. Megan Romano and Allison Schmitt were both 1:43.0’s on rolling starts for the Bulldogs.

The question stil remains if they shouldn’t have used Romano on the 200 medley earlier in the meet. Looking back, nearly a three second victory still would’ve left them lots of cushion to put one of their other 6 finalists in her place. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, and with Georgia having a lead going into the meet’s final day (and seeded to be the high scorers), they are in a good position.

Arizona took 2nd in 6:57.26. Margo Geer was also a 1;43.01, and Monica Drake anchored for the Wildcats in 1:44.06. Drake has been a big relay contributor throughout this meet.

Arizona was in an earlier heat, meaning that Cal didn’t have anything to look at in the final (except Georgia, a few body lengths ahead). Cal ended up 3rd in 6:57.44. Liz Pelton had the best split of the field in 1:42.16. That swim epitomized what we’ve seen from this talented Cal freshman class: the ability to bounce back with many good swims in the same.

Stanford was 4th in 6:59.16. A&M took 5th in 7:02.03; that’s slower than seed, but after not even swimming this relay at NCAA’s last year, that’s a big step up.

USC was 6th in 7:02.49; that was a tight finish ahead of Florida (7:02.54) and Minnesota (7:02.77).

Team Standings After Day 2

More analysis on the team scoring later….(you know we will).

1. Georgia 300
2. California 285
3. Tennessee 263.5
4. Arizona 246
5. Texas A&M 216
6. Southern Cal 194
7. Stanford 189.5
8. Florida 189
9. Texas 115
10. Minnesota 99

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

People are going to call this sacrilege, but I’m starting to question whether this pool is as fast as it’s made out to be. I know it has an amazing history long course, and with the double lane-lines, flow-through bulkhead, etc., it should be really fast. But look at these times. Even the teams and individuals that swore they weren’t fully tapered for for conference are going slower than seed. I’m wondering if the whole double-bulkhead with a busy warm-up pool only 10 yards from the swimmers might cause some “noise” as turbulence flows under and into the competition area? Perhaps there is something about the gutters short course that makes it less ideal than long course? I’m just conjecturing,… Read more »

John O
Reply to  CraigH
8 years ago

Agreed, I expected much faster times than this…

Reply to  CraigH
8 years ago

The Indy pool is as fast as they get. It’s the swimmers.

The records are so fast these days that they are very difficult to beat.

You can’t expect a bunch of records every year and if you do, you are being unrealistic.

It takes a very special athlete to break an NCAA record because it ain’t easy.

Reply to  CraigH
8 years ago

Yea, I think it’s the swimmers. You do have certain of the top swimmers going faster: Bootsma and Pelton from Cal, for example.

John Sampson
Reply to  CraigH
8 years ago

I noticed they don’t have the wedges on the block; could that have any affect?

8 years ago

You do have a couple of good points There are plenty of other fast pools in the country

8 years ago

Cal is within 7 going into the relay. Although they probably aren’t going to beat Georgia in this relay, that sets them up great for tomorrow.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »