Columbus, Ohio – Ohio State 50 freestyler Liz Li earned a third-place showing in the 50 freestyle A final on Thursday night to highlight day two of the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships hosted at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
For Li, it was her third-straight top-three finish at the NCAA meet in the 50 freestyle. The now seven-time All-American clocked a time of 21.59 to earn her bronze medal. Li was also a member of the Buckeyes 200 freestyle team that included teammatesFreya Rayner, Macie McNichols and Maria Coy who placed 7th with a time of 1:28.17 adding 24 more points for the Buckeyes. For the first time in at least 25 years, the Buckeyes finished in the top eight of the NCAA meet in the 200 free relay; Li (x2), Rayner, McNichols and Coy are all 2018 First Team All-Americans. The seventh-place finish was a seven-spot improvement from last year’s 14th-place showing.
With the 24 points from the 200 freestyle relay and 16 points from Li’s bronze, Ohio State is in 13th place with 40 points.
Rayner and McNichols also competed in the 50 freestyle. Rayner clocked in a time of 22.22 to take 17th and McNichols finished with a time of 22.30 earning her a 20th place finish. Rayner was the fastest freshman 50 freestyler in the event outswimming nine other first year competitors; it was the first-career individual swim for McNichols at the NCAA meet.
The Buckeyes 400 medley relay squad placed 17th this morning during prelims with a collective time of 3.33.12. The medley team consisted of sophomore Rebekah Bradley, freshman Hanna Gresser, Li and Rayner. The 17th-place finish is a 11 position improvement from 2017. Sophomore Molly Kowal took a 21st-place finish in the 500 freestyle where she swam a personal best time of 4:40.26, a more than 12 second improvement from her high school days. For the Merchantville, N.J., native, the 21st-place finish is a 16 positions better than her finish in 2017 at the NCAA meet. Lara Tarvit place 34th on the one-meter diving board with a score of 262.40.
Day three of the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships begins with prelims on Friday morning at 9 a.m. ET and finals will begin at 5 p.m. ET. Diving on the one meter will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET. The final session will be aired live on ESPNU, and Buckeye Vision will have coverage of the prelims and diving on three meter.