March 17, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - On night one of the women's swimming and diving NCAA Championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas, the Arizona Wildcats received four top-eight finishes to propel themselves to fifth in the current standings with 99 points. Georgia leads with 129 followed by USC in second with 122. Stanford is third at 116 while California is fourth with 115.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Arizona used an all-freshmen quartet of Margo Geer, Kait Flederbach, Grace Finnegan and Aubrey Peacock to finish as national runners-up to California. Geer led things off splitting a 22.02 and that paved the way for Flederbach, Finnegan and Peacock to finish in second at 1:28.02. The second-place results put UA on the board with 34 points.
Up next it was the 500 freestyle and Alyssa Anderson in the championship final. Earlier in the day, Anderson shattered the Arizona school record in the event by topping Emily Mason's 2005 mark of 4:37.11 by going a 4:34.34 to place second in prelims. Georgia's Allison Schmitt, who broke Caroline Burckle's NCAA record in the race in prelims, won the championship final with a 4:34.20. Anderson, negative-splitting in finals, was third overall and earned 16 points for Arizona.
In the consolation final of the 200 individual medley, Hannah Ross placed eighth overall with a showing of 1:58.95. Over prelims, Ross was the thirteenth fastest with a 1:58.18.
In one of the more highly anticipated finals of the three-day meet, Margo Geer dueled off with Cal's Liv Jensen and Auburn's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace in the sprint 50 freestyle. In the preliminary round, Geer put up the fastest time with a 21.79 to earn the lane four assignment. In the championship heat, Geer touched third overall with another sub 22.00 time of 21.93. Auburn's Vanderpool-Wallace won the race in 21.38. Geer morning time of 21.79 placed her at No. 2 on the Arizona school record list in the 50 freestyle behind only Lara Jackson's NCAA record time of 21.24.
To close night one, Arizona's 400 medley relay team of Sarah Denninghoff, Ellyn Baumgardner Dana Christ and Geer placed third overall with a time of 3:30.52. Earlier in the day, UA posted the sharpest prelim time of 3:31.07, but the same four couldn't shave enough off to take the title. Arizona had won the 400 medley relay for three consecutive seasons dating back to 2008. The Golden Bears claimed first in 3:28.53 to win its second relay of the day.
With one of its youngest teams in recent history at the NCAA Championships, the Cats have to like where they stand after night one. Tomorrow, things pick right back up with the 200 medley relay, 400 I.M., 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 800 free relay and the 3-meter springboard.
Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 6
1. Georgia - 129
2. USC - 122
3. Stanford - 116
4. California - 115
5. Arizona - 99
6. Auburn - 80
7. Texas - 68
8. Minnesota - 67
9. Wisconsin - 56
10. Florida - 53
11. Texas A&M - 39
12. Tennessee - 36
Night 1 Finals Results
200 Freestyle Relay
2. M. Geer, K. Flederbach, G. Finnegan, A. Peacock - 1:28.02 - 34 points
3. Alyssa Anderson - 4:35.41 - 16 points
200 Individual Medley Consolation
8. Hannah Ross - 1:58.95 - 1 point
3. Margo Geer - 21.93 - 16 points
400 Medley Relay
3. S. Denninghoff, E. Baumgardner, D. Christ, M. Geer - 3:30.52 - 32 points
200 Freestyle Relay
2. M. Geer, K. Flederbach, G. Finnegan, A. Peacock - 1:27.98
19. Samantha Pickens - 274.00
400 Medley Relay
1. S. Denninghoff, E. Baumgardner, D. Christ, M. Geer - 3:31.07