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    NCAA Swimming & Diving Update - 3/22

    Beisel Wins NCAA Title on Day Two of NCAA Championships

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) won her second NCAA title and first in the 400 IM in tonight's finals. The Gators currently sit eighth in the standings with 189 points so far at the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. Florida had three top-three individual finishes on the second night of competition.

    "I am really proud of how the team came back after yesterday," said Head Coach Gregg Troy. "I thought we swam really well this morning. We are still not quite firing on all cylinders. We raced tough the whole time, everybody was in the races. Elizabeth did great in the 400 IM, Sinead had some good swims and the two butterfliers were fantastic."

    Beisel, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 400 IM, swam a solid race from start to finish as she held off a tough field to become the 2013 400 IM NCAA Champion. She finished in a time of 4:00.49 solidifying her second career individual title after winning the 200 back last year.

    The Gators did not waste anytime scoring big points in the final as the 200 medley relay group of freshman Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario), junior Hilda Luthersdottir (Harfnarfjordur, Iceland), junior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) and freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) finished third with a time of 1:36.06. Zalewski put down the best fly split time once again and Hinds put down a solid anchor leg of 21.25, the 2nd fastest of the night.

    "The relays are a lot different than when you swim them the first time at the conference meet so I am very pleased with their performance," remarked Troy.

    Florida continued to score big points with both Hinds and Zalewski competing in the finals of the 100 fly. Zalewski, who has had strong swims all day long, grabbed a third place finish in a time of 51.69. She set the new school record of 51.50 in the prelims. Hinds put down her personal-best time of 51.89 to tie for first in the consolation final. Hinds won the consolation final of both of her events thus far at the meet (50 free and 100 fly).

    Russell added another top-three finish for the Orange and Blue by placing second in the 100 back in just her first NCAA Championship meet. She was another Gator who continued to knock off time as the day went on. Russell improved on her personal-best that she set earlier in the day by finishing in a time of 51.46.

    To close out the night the 800 free relay group of Russell, Beisel, Zalewski and senior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) finished seventh in a time of 7:02.54.
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    Schmitt Helps Georgia Stay On Top At NCAAs

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- Allison Schmitt won the 200-yard freestyle title again and anchored a victorious relay on Friday to highlight Georgia's showing at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium.

    After two days of competition, the Lady Bulldogs have 300 points. California is second with 285, followed by Tennessee with 263.5 and Arizona with 246. On Saturday, Georgia will be going for the program's fifth national title (the others coming in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005). The Lady Bulldogs have been second to Cal each of the last two seasons.

    "We told our kids, it's not that you have to go above and beyond that far," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "You just have to do what you're capable of, and that will be enough. If we perform well enough Saturday morning during prelims to set ourselves up for finals, we'll have a chance. That's pretty much the way it is. It just comes down to the last day, and whoever swims faster wins the meet."

    Schmitt claimed the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:41.85. She won the event in 2010 and 2011, then took last year off to train for the London Olympics where she claimed gold in the 200-meter freestyle. Schmitt now has six NCAA titles, three each in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles. She also has been on five winning relays.

    Megan Romano, who won the 2012 title and set the American record, came in third in 1:42.64. Shannon Vreeland touched in 1:42.97 to claim fourth. In the consolation final, Brittany MacLean placed 12th in 1:45.53, Jordan Mattern was 13th in 1:45.78 and Kelsey Gaid was 16th in 1:46.42.

    In the 800-yard freestyle relay, Vreeland, Romano, MacLean and Schmitt stopped the clock in 6:54.43. Georgia has won the 800-yard freestyle relay four consecutive seasons.

    "The whole atmosphere of this meet is great," Schmitt said, "Being a Georgia Bulldog here is a blessing. I couldn't ask for more being this group of girls."

    In the 400-yard individual medley, Melanie Margalis paced Georgia as she came in seventh with a time of 4:05.36. Amber McDermott took 11th in 4:07.42, followed by Annie Zhu in 12th with a time of 4:08.59 and Hali Flickinger in 14th in 4:11.64.

    Laura Ryan placed 13th on the 3-meter springboard with 329.05 points in the consolation final.

    The 200-yard medley relay of Gaid, Shannon O'Malley, Lauren Harrington and Chantal Van Landeghem stopped the clock in 1:38.31 to place 14th.
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    OLIVIA SCOTT WINS NCAA TITLE IN 100-YARD BUTTERFLY

    INDIANAPOLIS – Auburn junior Olivia Scott claimed her first individual national championship, winning the 100-yard butterfly title on Friday night at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium.

    Scott, a junior from Aurora, Ill., posted a winning time of 51.64, dropping .32 seconds off her time from this morning’s prelims. She was fourth at the 50-yard mark, taking the race out in 24.20, but swam the fastest split in the final 50 yards and reaching for the finish to just out-touch California’s Rachel Bootsma by .04 seconds and Florida’s Ellese Zalewski by .05. It was the closest finish in NCAA Championship history in the 100 fly.

    “Outstanding swim from Olivia,” Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. “We haven’t won that race in many years, and it’s good to get an NCAA Champion. She really had to fight hard, but she just wanted it more than the other girls in that race. It’s a good feeling to get back on top of the podium, it gave us some momentum for the rest of the night.

    “We had several good swims today, several best times this morning. Emily Bos had a couple of great 100 back swims, and we had a good time in the relay, finishing in the top eight. We’re having some great individual performances, we’ve just got to come back in the morning and be prepared to get it done.”

    Scott’s title was Auburn’s 33rd women’s NCAA individual or relay championship in team history, and Scott became the second Tiger swimmer to win a title in the 100 butterfly, joining Mimi Bowen, who won the title in 1997. Scott was the runner-up at last year’s NCAA Championships and also at this year’s SEC Championships, but was finally able to break through and score a huge victory.

    “It was amazing (to get the win),” Scott said. “I’ve gotten used to getting touched out in that race, so to look up at the board and see my name was awesome. I had to look twice, actually, because I wasn’t sure. I knew it was anyone’s game, we were all close (after prelims) and we all wanted it, but I was expecting anything to happen.”

    The 200 medley relay team got the night off to a good start, tying Stanford for seventh place. The team of Bos, Lauren Norberg, Olivia Scott and Hannah Riordan clocked a 1:37.17 to earn first-team All-America honors.

    Senior Lauren Norberg posted a time of 59.54 to finish in 12th place overall in the 100 breaststroke, and Bos swam a 52.49 in the 100 back to finish 16th overall. Both times were the second-best of their careers in their respective events, just a hair shy of their personal-best marks in prelims this morning – Bos with a 52.40 and Norberg with a 59.46.

    Auburn’s 800 freestyle relay team of Becca Jones, Megan Fonteno, Haley Krakoski and Katie Gardocki closed out the night with a 22nd-place time of 7:15.62.
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    Daniels earns All-America status on day two of NCAA’s

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –  University of Arkansas sophomore Nikki Daniels clocked a 59.18 in the 100 breaststroke at the 2013 NCAA Championship, finishing fourth overall and becoming the 33rd individual to earn All-America honors for the Razorback swimming and diving team. The Razorbacks close out day two sitting back in 28th place with 15 points. The 15 total points is currently the 11th-highest point total in school history at NCAA’s.

    “Nikki did a great job today and she earned every bit of her success today,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “I’m really proud of her with her focus and overcoming everything she has over the last few weeks since conference. She put herself in a position to swim in the finals with a top-eight swim in the morning and finishing top-four at NCAA’s is outstanding. It is certainly very inspiring and something we are hoping to build on going into day three.”     

    To start off the 100 breast finals, Daniels clocked a 28.02 opening leg which put her back in sixth-place. Daniels would make her move on the back end of the race as she clocked a 31.16 for fourth-place overall, the highest finish for the Razorbacks in school history in the 100 breaststroke at the NCAA Championship. She finished with the second-fastest time in school history, 59.18, second only to her preliminary time of 59.11. With her top-eight finish Daniels earns the 76th All-America honor in Razorback swimming and diving history, scoring 15 points for Arkansas.

    In the morning preliminaries, the Wichita, Kan., native began her school-record breaking swim with a blistering 28.11 split on the opening leg, which put her in first place in her heat. Daniels had built up enough of a lead to hold off her competitors while nabbing a 31.00 flat on her closing leg, attaining a personal-best.

    Also swimming in the evening session was the 800 free relay team of Lauren Jordan, Nicole Menzel, Anna Mayfield and Nina Drolc. Jordan led things off for the Razorbacks with a leadoff time of 1:47.32, the fastest split for the Razorbacks. Menzel was up in the second leg and didn’t disappoint with a time of 1:47.54 before handing it off to the freshmen. Mayfield clocks a 1:47.72, followed by Drolc with a closing split of 1:48.29. Their combined time of 7:10.87 marks the fastest-time in school history, as the quartet took down the school record by just 0.04 seconds, besting the 2009 record set by Katie Kastes, Katie Whitbeck, Stephanie Carr and Yi-Ting Siow (7:10.91).

    “Finishing off day two at NCAA’s with a season-best time and school record in the 800 free relay was a great way to end the day,” Schimmel said.
    “We’ve been close to breaking that mark this season and to get it done at NCAA’s is great.”

    Kicking off day two at Indianapolis in the preliminaries was the 200 medley relay team of Shana Lim, Daniels, Susanna White and Nina Drolc. Lim got things started with a 24.84 split in the backstroke before handing it off to Daniels who clocked a 26.94 in the breaststroke. White nabbed a 24.39 split in the butterfly before giving it up to Drolc to close with a 22.57 split. The quartet put up the second-fastest time in school history (1:38.74) for 18th overall.

    “On the morning relays we came up a little bit short,” Shcimmel said. “You have to be perfect on the relays at NCAA’s and we were a little bit off here and there and came short of putting ourselves in scoring position. We have some things to work on going into tomorrow for our final relay.”
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    Bechtel, Cabot Compete on Day Two of NCAAs

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Sophomore swimmer Christina Bechtel made her NCAA Championships debut Friday competing in the 100-butterfly while fellow sophomore Christa Cabot took to the 3-meter springboard on day two of action at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

    Each athlete performed strongly in their preliminary rounds Friday, but neither was able to advance into the top 16 in their event to reach the evening’s finals.

    “We came up a little bit short today but the girls performed well,” said head coach Gary Conelly. “Tina moved up two places and went her best preliminary time. Christa made a great run and only a couple of points away from scoring with her 18th place finish.”

    Cabot finished just out of the final 16, scoring 307.60, narrowly missing out on advancing. She finished in 18th place and was the second alternate for the event in case of an injury.

    Bechtel, swimming in her lone event in the 100-butterfly, was also unable to post a strong enough preliminary score to advance to the evening’s finals. She improved her own personal best preliminary time of 53.06 to earn 25th place.

    Friday wraps up competition for Bechtel at the NCAA Championships, but Cabot still will have the opportunity to score points for Kentucky when the women divers move to the tower to dive platform.
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