AUSTIN, Texas - After recording an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:55.84 during the morning preliminary heats of the 200y backstroke on the final day of competition at the University of Texas Invitational, freshman Beth Botsford broke the American record in the 200m backstroke with a time of 2:07.36 during the evening finals session. Botsford's time bettered that of 15-year-old sensation Natalie Coughlin, who clocked a time of 2:07.46 during December, 1998. Botsford's time also holds the distinction of being a U.S. Open record (fastest ever on United States soil).
Other highlights for the women's squad included the 400m freestyle relay team of senior Denali Knapp, sophomore Jenny Vanker, sophomore Emily Mastin and sophomore Sarah Tolar who clocked an NCAA auto time (3:41.76) during the evening session, while Tolar also notched an auto time in the 100m freestyle, by swimming a time of 55.13.
Sophomore Erin Vogt (4:46.03, 400m IM) rounded out the final women's NCAA automatic qualifying time of the night session.
For the men during the evening finals session, freshman Jeff Dash swam to an auto time of 200m butterfly, with his career-best time of 1:58.28, while sophomore Kris Souther qualified for his first trip to the NCAA Championships in March, with a time of 1:55.91 in the 200m backstroke.
The men's highlight from the morning session came in the 100y freestyle, as sophomore Roland Schoeman swam to a meet record, school record and auto time of 42.86.
Also during the morning qualifying heats, seven-time NCAA champion, senior Ryk Neethling captured an auto time with his first place finish in the 1,650y freestyle, clocking a season-best time of 14:47.04.
For the women in the morning prelims, 13-time All-American, senior Trina Jackson captured an auto time in the 1,650y freestyle (16:18.37), an event in which she has captured two of the last three NCAA titles. Jackson also qualified for the NCAAs in the 200y butterfly, with a time of 1:59.09.
Rounding out the morning auto times for the women was Knapp, who qualified with a time of 1:57.66 in the 200y backstroke.
The Wildcats next return to action January 8, 2000 when the Wildcat men take on the eighth-ranked Michigan Wolverines at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center beginning at 2 p.m.