March 21, 1998
MINNEAPOLIS – The 400 yard freestyle relay squad of freshman Meghan Iffland (Wilmington, Del.) and sophomores Emily Trakas (Herndon, Va.), Rebecca Cronk (Charlottesville, Va.) and Meghan McCubbins (Richmond, Va.) helped Virginia to an 18th place finish at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota, marking the first time since 1990 that the Cavaliers have finished in the top 20 at the NCAA meet. Nine out of the ten Virginia swimmers participating earned All-America honors for their efforts. McCubbins was named to the first-team while eight other Cavaliers were awarded honorable mention.
The relay came in 11th in the finals of the event with a season-best time of 3:20.69. Lindsay Schubert (Greenwich, Conn.) and Emily Carrig (Richmond, Va.) turned in the Cavaliers’ best individual performances of the day. Schubert placed 20th in the 200 yard breaststroke, finishing in 2:17.23. Carrig swam the 200 yard butterfly in 2:01.43, good enough for 21st place. Trakas placed 44th in the 100 yard freestyle with a time of :51.01.
Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino was thrilled with his swimmers’ performances. “The NCAA meet this year had a highly accomplished international field, probably the best ever, full of incredible athletes and several Olympians,” he said. “We have a number of young swimmers who are new to this sort of competition and I’m very happy with the way they swam here this weekend. To finish in the top 20 of any sport at the collegiate level is quite an accomplishment and I’m proud of the way our swimmers have progressed.”
Charlottesville’s Cronk and Richmonders McCubbins and Carrig swam well at the NCAA meet in both individual and relay events. Cronk set a school record in the 50 yard freestyle on Friday, finishing in 11th place with a time of :22.74. Today, she placed 42nd in the 100 yard freestyle (:50.93). She swam a leg of the 200 yard medley relay which placed 15th and a leg of the 12th place 200 yard freestyle relay to go with her effort Saturday in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Cronk’s efforts were rewarded with honorable mention All-America honors.
McCubbins’ eighth place finish in the 100 yard butterfly Friday (:54.25) earned the sophomore first-team All America honors. Along with the 400 freestyle relay, she helped the 200 yard freestyle relay to a 12th place finish. Carrig placed 22nd in the 500 yard freestyle on Thursday (4:49.89) and 37th in Friday’s 200 yard freestyle (1:50.07) to go along with her 21st place finish in the 200 yard fly on Saturday. Carrig earned honorable mention All-America for her performance.
The Cavaliers ended the meet with 51 points. Their last top 20 finish at the NCAA meet came in 1990 when they captured 11th place overall.
The Virginia men’s swimmers will compete in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, scheduled for this Thursday, Friday and Saturday (March 26-28) at Auburn University.