WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Lauren Perdue, Lauren Smart and Mei Christensen, in addition to the 200 medley relay team, swam their way into the finals Friday as day two of the 2010 NCAA Championships continued.
Preliminaries were held in the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back. The meet, which runs through Saturday, is being held at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on the campus of Purdue University.
Live coverage of the 2010 Women's NCAA Championships can be found by clicking here. Finals begin at 7 p.m. this evening. The 800 free relay will also be contested tonight; there were no preliminaries held for that event.
Christensen, a senior, and Smart, a sophomore, capped the morning with the duo finishing seventh and eighth, respectively, to both earn spots in the finals. Christensen touched in 52.39 and Smart finished in 52.55.
"That was a tremendous lift for the team and a great way to end the preliminary session," Bernardino said of getting two into the finals of the 100 back. "With Lauren Smart, at the last minute, I declared a false start in the butterfly race to try to save energy for the backstroke. We debated it as a coaching staff and this morning she felt like she could really give it a go in the backstroke. We went with that decision and I am convinced it was the right move given her wonderful performance. Both Mei and Lauren are in good positions to move forward and upward."
In the very first event of the day, the 200 medley relay team of Christensen, Katherine McDonnell, Smart and Perdue teamed up to win their heat in 1:37.79. That mark was the fourth-fastest of the morning.
"I am excited to see what we can do in our relay tonight," Bernardino said. "We have put ourselves in a good position once again being in the top-8."
Perdue, a freshman, then finaled in her second individual event of the championships, taking sixth in the prelims of the 200 free. She clocked a time of 1:44.83.
"A really nice job by Lauren Perdue, even though she used a different race strategy," Bernardino said. "She had good energy in the last 50 and made a nice move in the last 25 to put herself in the finals."
Junior Claire Crippen will swim tonight in the consolation finals of the 400 IM after she placed 13th with a time of 4:10.73 in the morning session.
"Claire had a solid performance," Bernardino said. "We were worried because she was in one of the earlier heats and we didn't know if that time would stand. It stood plenty well and she has the opportunity to come back tonight and improve."
Kelly Flynn (26th, 1:47.01), Jen Narum (35th, 1:47.51), Jenna Harris (46th, 1:48.07) and Kristen Moores (49th, 1:48.38) also competed in the 200 free while Meredith Cavalier finished 27th overall (53.80) in the 100 back.
Katya Bachrouche (23rd, 4:13.36), Liz Shaw (25th, 4:13.86), Amanda Faulkner (30th, 4:15.31) and Anne Summer Myers (39th, 4:17.30) swam in the preliminaries of the 400 IM.
Christine Olson finished 31st (1:02.04) and McDonnell was 33rd (1:02.13) in the 100 breast.