March 20, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team broke three school records on the first day of the NCAA Championships Thursday (March 20) at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
After one day, the Cavaliers sit in 15th with 18 points. Georgia leads with 189, followed by Stanford (136) and California (126).
In the 500 free, freshman Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) won the consolation final and finished ninth overall in a time of 4:33.75, a new UVa and ACC record, to earn honorable mention All-America accolades. Smith’s time is sixth-tenths of a second faster than her previous record of 4:34.35, set at the ACC Championship in February.
“My teammates and coaches were extremely supportive of me after a disappointing morning swim,” Smith said. “Their motivation helped me focus, shake off that swim and go for a best time tonight.”
The 200 free relay of freshman Shannon Rauth (Glenmoore, Pa.), Lloyd, freshman Ellen Thomas (Guildford, United Kingdom) and senior Rachel Naurath (Manakin-Sabot, Va.) broke the school record in the prelims in a time of 1:28.97. The team of Naurath, Lloyd, Thomas and senior Meredith Cavalier (Stafford, Va.) placed 16th overall in 1:29.72 in finals.
In the 400 medley relay prelims, the team of sophomore Courtney Bartholomew (Holland, Mich.), freshman Laura Simon (Simmern, Germany), junior Ellen Williamson (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.) and senior Emily Lloyd (Severna Park, Md.) broke the school record with a time of 3:29.42. The team was disqualified in the finals.
“We had a couple of outstanding performances by freshmen tonight and having our 200 free relay score points was huge based on their seed coming into the meet,” UVa head coach Augie Busch said. “The disqualification at the end of the night is a hard pill to swallow, but this team is made of a bunch of fighters and we have to bounce back tomorrow.”
Senior Caroline Kenney (Suwanee, Ga.) placed 19th in 4:41.34, the eighth-fastest time on UVa’s all-time list, while junior Kelly Offutt (Reisterstown, Md.), sophomore Hanne Borgersen (Frederick, Md.) and junior Alison Haulsee (Glen Allen, Va.) finished 25th, 27th and 28th, respectively.
In the 200 IM, freshman Kaitlyn Jones (Newark, Del.) earned honorable mention All-America honors with a 10th-place finsh in 1:56.49, the third-fastest mark in UVa history. Williamson was just outside of the scoring spots, placing 17th in 1:57.38. Bartholomew was 20th, while sophomore Haley Durmer was 35th.
Thomas placed 36th in the 50 free in a time of 22.58.
The action continues Friday (March 21) with the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 3-meter diving and 800 free relay events being contested. Prelims begin at noon and finals are scheduled for an 8 p.m. start. Times are Eastern.
Thursday’s Finals Results
Leah Smith – 9th – 4:33.75 – New Virginia record
200 Individual Medley
Kaitlyn Jones – 10th – 1:56.49
Thursday’s Prelim Results
Ellen Thomas – 36th – 22.58
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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