200 Free Relay
In the very first race of the meet, there were no real huge surprises. Stanford held serve as the top seed going in to finals in 1:27.70, followed by Florida (1:27.93) and Georgia (1:28.35). California slid back to 5th in 1:28.82, and Arizona moved up from their number 11 seed to make the A final in 1:29.01.
The biggest thing we learned from this race is that Stanford swam their best time of the season, which should help to calm the fears that have been circulating over whether or not they would be able to drop any more time after some amazing Pac-10 Championship swims. The Cardinal cut their best time by .57 seconds.
There are a whole slew of teams that have a chance to win this race, so we’ll know a lot more during finals.
This race is setting up to be an incredible exciting final. California’s Lauren Boyle moved up quite a few spots to grab the top seed headed into finals in 4:38.72. All 8 finalists were within a second of each other, with Wendy Trott of Georgia and Alicia Aemiseger of Princeton qualifying second and third. Texas A&M’s Kristen Heiss and Georgia’s Allison Schmitt, who were seeded second and third, finaled in fifth and sixth positions, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot with how tight this field will be.
Heiss is typically a back-half swimmer, but in prelims she didn’t put on the burners too much coming home, so look for her to make a big move in finals. Alyssa Anderson was the surprise finalist of this race, as she was able to move up from the 10th seed to qualify fourth overall.
As expected, Smit was firmly in control of this race, although her time in prelims was a couple of seconds off of her seed, at 1:54.34. Expect her to kick in the after burners in finals and get down towards the 1:52 range. Second place finisher Julia Wilkinson made a clear statement that she’s here to compete by finishing in 1:55.14. Margaret Kelly moved up from seventh to third in 1:55.41.
California freshman sensation Caitlin Leverenz moved up a bunch from the 13th seed to qualify in sixth in 1:56.66.
Stay tuned for 50 freestyle results.
400 medley relay
The Arizona Wildcats were the story of this prelim. After coming in seeded 8th, the Wildcats qualified first overall in 3:31.16. This wasn’t really a huge surprise, considering that three of the four swimmers on the relay (with the exception being the loss of Lara Jackson) set the NCAA and U.S. Open record in the event, but was still a great finish for the Wildcats.
The other big shock of this race was the Auburn relay, which slid from the top seed overall all the way out of the A-final, which severely limits their scoring potential.
Arizona was followed by Stanford (3:31.92) and Florida (3:32.23).