West Lafayette, Ind. ?- After the second day of competition at the 2005 NCAA Championships, the No. 6 Arizona women’s swimming and diving team tallied another NCAA Champion, junior Marshi Smith, in the 100-yard backstroke, setting a new school record with a time of 52.82. The Wildcats maintain the third place position with 290 points and have broken a total of five school records throughout two days of competition.
Smith was the 2005 Co-Pac-10 Champion in the 100-yard backstroke as she earned her first national title during tonight’s competition, posting a personal best time in this event.
“Before the race I believed that I could do it, but actually doing it is a whole different story,” said Smith. “After my first 25-yards I got into my habit.” “This feels amazing, when I was younger I would watch swimmers in big meets touch the wall and celebrate after a big win and I have always wanted that to be me. This is incredible.”
“It was a proud moment (when Smith won),” said head swimming coach Frank Busch. “ She swam a hard race and did an unbelievable job.”
Also in the 100-yard backstroke, junior Jenna Gresdal finished third with a personal best time of 53.33. The 200-yard medley relay composed of Smith, junior Erin Sieper, sophomore Whitney Myers and Gresdal, who had the No. 1 seed entering finals, finished third with a season best time of 1:38.41.
Senior Emily Mason, who took the NCAA title in the 500-yard freestyle last night, finished second in the finals of the 400-yard individual medley posing a personal best time of 4:08.09. Myers swam a close race in the 100-yard butterfly as she placed second just in front of Florida with a personal best time of 52.74.
Three Arizona women qualified for the finals of the 200-yard freestyle as senior Jessica Hayes finished sixth in the championships finals with a time of 1:46.35. Freshman Courtney Cashion won the consolation finals finishing ninth overall with a personal best time of 1:46.03. Classmate Lacey Nymeyer finished just behind her in second place, 10th overall, with a personal best time of 1:46.35.
For the final swimming event of the evening, the 800-yard free relay team of Mason, Myers, Hayes and Nymeyer broke another school record with a time of 7:02.80, which is also a season best time for the women.
“This is amazing, the kids took it all on tonight,” said Busch. “The girls swam their hearts out.”
“I can’t predict what will happen tomorrow, we just have to keep on working.”
During the preliminaries of the 3-meter diving event, senior Daniela Bemme finished 22nd with 449.75 points and senior Claire Febvay was 36th with 227.65 points.