March 22, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Arizona women’s swimming/diving team closed out day two at the 2013 NCAA Championships in style with a school record performance in the 800 free relay inside the IUPUI Natatorium in downtown Indianapolis. The Cats are in fourth in the team competition with 246 points.
The Wildcats shaved nearly five seconds off their season-best time in the 800 free relay to finish in second behind Georgia (6:54.43). The Arizona team of Bonnie Brandon, Grace Finnegan and Monica Drake touched in a time of 6:57.26, more than a second faster than the school record of 6:58.36, which was recorded in last year’s NCAA Championships. Geer and Drake were both part of that relay team as well.
“I’m happy with our team as a whole,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “For our relay to finish second and set a school record by over a second just says it all. We are carrying a lot of momentum into the last day and we’re going to need it to hold on and/or move up.”
Georgia leads the team standings with 300 points followed by California (285), Tennessee (263.5) and Arizona. Texas A&M rounds out the top-five with 216 points.
To start the night, the Arizona 200 medley relay team of Lauren Smart (24.57), Megan Lafferty (23.29) and Margo Geer (21.20) earned a third place finish with a time of 1:35.69. The Wildcats finished just behind champion, Tennessee (1:34.95) and runner-up, California (1:35.53).
Senior Megan Lafferty continues to have a strong meet as she clocked in with a time of 52.05 to finish sixth in the 100 fly.
The Wildcats also picked up significant points in the 100 breast as Baumgardner and Chelsey Salli both advanced to the finals. Baumgardner placed seventh (59.37) and Salli came in eighth (59.79).
Brandon and Lauren Smart each earned a spot in the consolation final of the 100 back with Brandon placing third and Smart coming in sixth. Smart earned her spot by defeating Annemarie Thayer of Stanford with a very impressive time of 52.08 in an exciting swim-off earlier in the day.
Tomorrow’s final day will get started with prelims beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET and finals at 7:00 p.m. ET. The competition tomorrow will include the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and the 400 free relay.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.