March 19, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Lara Jackson jump started her team on Thursday night in route to three NCAA titles and three American records - one as an individual in the 50 free by way of the 200 free relay and two as the foursome which took down Arizona's 2008 records set at the national championships last year.
Jackson set the new record in the 50 freestyle through leading off the 200 free relay for the Wildcats. The El Paso, Texas native topped her previous mark of 21.33 set at the Texas Invite in December. Relay-mate Lindsey Kelly swam the second leg for Arizona as she and Justine Schluntz kept the California team at bay before Taylor Baughman sealed the win with a split of 21.59. The relay team's time of 1:26.20 topped Arizona's previous time of 1:26.90.
"It's really special to be on two American record relays and to break my 50 free time again," said Jackson.
Swimming in the 50 free individual event, Jackson defended her NCAA title established last year with a time of 21.40, just missing the record she set 25 minutes earlier. Jackson broke the NCAA meet record of 21.63 and now holds every collegiate 50 free record.
The double victory put her into special territory with Georgia's Kara Lynn Joyce (4), Texas' Leigh Ann Fetter (4), Stanford's Catherine Fox (3), Georgia Maritza Correira (2), Stanford's Jenna Johnson (2) and Stanford's Jenny Thompson (2) are the only other repeat winners of the 50 free.
The win also gave Arizona its fourth ever, behind Stanford (7), Georgia (7) and Texas (5). Previous winners for Arizona were Diane Johnson (1982), Ashley Tappin (1995) and Jackson last year.
In the 500 freestyle consolation final, Alyssa Anderson won with a time of 4:37.87 from lane two. Her consolation time was nearly three seconds better than her preliminary time.
Julie Stupp placed seventh for Arizona in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:56.09. The Wildcat women ruled the 200 IM consolation final as Jenny Forster and Hailey DeGolia finished first and second respectively with time of 1:55.07 and 1:56.60. Annie Chandler, also in the 200 IM consol, finished eighth.
To close day one, Arizona capped off an already stellar night by winning the 400 medley relay with the American record time of 3:28.31. The team of Ana Agy, Chandler, Jackson and Schluntz teamed to outpace Cal down the stretch.
Arizona is currently in the lead with 141.5 points followed by Georgia in second with 133.