UVa's 400 Medley Relay Places Fifth at NCAA Championships
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Both the Virginia 400 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay picked up All-America honors as the first night of finals was held Thursday at the 2010 NCAA Championships. The meet, which runs through Saturday, is being held at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on the campus of Purdue University.
Through six events, Virginia stands in a tie eighth place with 64 points. Stanford currently leads the meet (142.5) followed by Georgia (134) and defending champion California (122).
“We were aggressive all night long,” Bernardino said. “We need to stay focused and stay intense. We need to be mindful of everything happing around us. We have done the work: September, October, November. That prepares us for now and I think we are one of the better-prepared teams because of what we did six months ago.”
The 400 medley relay team tallied a fifth-place finish, two spots higher than its seventh-place performance in the prelims. Mei Christensen, Katherine McDonnell, Lauren Smart and Lauren Perdue teamed up to finish in 3:33.28.
“We wanted to do better and we moved up,” Smart said. “Getting into the top-8 is the biggest thing; once you get there you just need to race against the people in the pool with you. Time doesn’t really matter at that point. Mei did great to start and that helped us a lot. It was an exciting race.”
Perdue earned her first career individual All-America honors after a fifth-place finish in the 50 free, her second of three events on the night. The Greenville, N.C., native clocked a time of 22.27, just .01 off from her school record-setting prelim time of 22.26 she set this morning.
“Lauren Perdue had a tremendous performance; she is the fastest freshman in the country in the 50 free,” Bernardino said. “She is in a wonderful position to grow and learn. She is maturing as a swimmer and this is an experience she will be able to look back on and use as her career goes on.”
“It was an extremely busy day; I’ve never swam that many events in one day before,” Perdue said. “Coming into this morning I was a little nervous about it and wasn’t sure how my body would hold up. But I’m really happy with how I did.”
Virginia’s 200 free relay team of Christensen, Perdue, Kelly Flynn and Hannah Davis also earned All-America honors with an eighth-place showing. The Cavaliers finished in 1:29.51.
Day two of the NCAA Championships continues Friday morning with preliminaries in the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 200 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 800 free relay.
“Obviously the goal of every program is to win a national championship,” Bernardino said. “That is the type of goal we have as well but you have to crawl before you walk. Our goal all year has been to improve on our standing from a year ago, which was 12th. We just have to keep marching forward.”
2010 Women’s NCAA Championships
Team Standings – Top 10
Through event 6
|5. Texas A&M||106|
|8. Southern California||64|