COLUMBUS, Ohio The University of Arizona holds first place with 151 points after day one of competition at the 2008 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships held in the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Auburn is close behind in second with 132 points and California sits in third with 89 points.
“This is a great, great night but every day is a new day,” Frank Busch, Arizona head coach, said. “I don’t feel like we have any special momentum going into tomorrow.”
The evening began with a record-breaking performance in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The Arizona quartet of Lara Jackson, Lacey Nymeyer, Anna Turner and Taylor Baughman swam a NCAA record time of 1:26.90. Second-place went to the squad from California (1:27.52), while Auburn finished third (1:28.79).
“Any time you can get a relay record, it’s great,” Busch said. “It was a lot of fun to watch them go out there and win. It was pretty cool.”
Another NCAA record fell in the 500 freestyle when Caroline Burckle, a senior from the University of Florida, broke the 18-year old record in a time of 4:33.60. Auburn’s Maggie Bird finished second (4:39.51) and Kristen Heiss of Texas A&M took third (4:40.03).
“It feels really good,” Caroline Burckle said. “It’s something I’ve been shooting for, so I am really excited about it.”
Besides aiding Auburn to a third-place finish in the opening relay, sophomore Ava Ohlgren captured the 200 individual medley title with a pool-record time of 1:53.94. Washington freshman Ariana Kukors took second in 1:55.26. Her sister, Emily Kukors of Auburn, finished .02 seconds behind her for third place (1:55.28).
“It’s just a plus to win the championship,” Ohlgren said. “I’ve improved a lot since last season. It’s awesome for it to pay off in winning the national championship.”
Arizona added another top finish to the evening when Lara Jackson nabbed first, clocking in at 21.69 in the 50 freestyle to set the pool record. Tennessee sophomore Michele King took second in 21.86. Anne Marie May, a sophomore from Cal-Santa Barbara, swam third in 22.00.
“I don’t really look at it like setting the pool record,” Lara Jackson said. “I just want to go out and contribute for our team. Personal awards are just a bonus.”
On the one-meter springboard, Hawaii’s Emma Friesen claimed first place with a score of 336.20. Senior Mary Yarrison of Texas secured a second-place finish with 331.60 points, while Indiana sophomore Brittany Feldman took third with 323.75 points.
“There are no words to describe it (winning the national championship),” Emma Friesen said. “I’m still in shock. I don’t know if it will ever wear off.”
Day one ended with another record-breaking performance by an Arizona relay. The 400 medley quad of Hailey Degolia, Annie Chandler, Ana Agy and Nymeyer broke the NCAA, American and U.S. Open records by more than a second with a time of 3:29.06. Auburn took second in 3:32.84 and Stanford finished third in 3:33.77.
The NCAA Championships continue Friday and Saturday. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. and finals begin at 7 p.m. both days. Tickets are available online at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com or for purchase at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Live results also are available on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Top 10 Team Scores: 1. Arizona 151; 2. Auburn 132; 3. California 89; 4. Texas A&M 88; 5. Stanford 80; 6. Florida 71; 7. Tennessee 59; 8. Texas 51; 9. Michigan 50; 10. Kentucky 47.
Event Winners: 200 freestyle relay 1. Arizona 1:26.90; 500 freestyle 1. Burckle (Florida) 4:33.60; 200 IM 1. Ohlgren (Auburn) 1:53.94; 50 freestyle 1. Jackson (Arizona) 21.69; 400 freestyle relay 1. Arizona 3:29.06; One-meter 1. Friesen (Hawaii) 336.20.