Prelims: Day Three at Women's NCAAs
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Senior Mei Christensen earned a berth into the finals of the 200 back while the 400 free relay team also earned a spot in the finals Saturday as day three of the 2010 NCAA Championships continued.
Preliminaries were held in the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay. A timed final of the 1650 free will begin at approximately 4:45 p.m. this afternoon. The meet, which wraps up tonight, is being held at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on the campus of Purdue University.
Live coverage of the 2010 Women’s NCAA Championships can be found by clicking here. Finals begin at 7 p.m. this evening.
“I don’t think we handled adversity well last night but they handled it today and showed they could come back,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “They showed how tough they are and showed the characteristics that have made them the type of team they have been all year.”
The Cavaliers ended the final morning of preliminaries with a berth into the 400 free relay final. The team of Christensen, Lauren Perdue, Kelly Flynn and Kristen Moores finished in 3:16.00 for an eighth-place performance.
“That was such a critically important swim,” Bernardino said of the relay making the finals. “We did everything we needed to do this morning.”
Christensen, a native of Reston, Va., earned a spot in the finals of the 200 back for the second consecutive year. She touched in 1:53.28 in the preliminaries for the fifth-fastest time of the morning. Christensen will be swimming in Orange and Blue for the final time tonight.
Perdue broke her own school record in the 100 free, swimming a lifetime best 48.61 in the event and will swim tonight in the consolation finals. The Greenville, N.C., native previously set the Virginia school record at the ACC Championships with her winning time of 48.65.
Freshman Christine Olson also swam her way into the consolation finals, finishing in a tie for 13th place this morning in the 200 breast. Olson, who hails from Gilbert, Ariz., touched in 2:10.72.
“We need to move on and fight,” Bernardino said. “We are in a position to hold onto an eighth-place team finish and that is all we can ask for. It’s up to us to go out there and earn it tonight. I am proud of their determination and they did a great job.”
Juniors Amanda Faulkner and Hannah Davis also had solid swims during the preliminary session. Faulkner, swimming in her first NCAA Championships, recorded a personal-best time in the 200 breast (2:12.59) to finish 24th overall. Davis finished the 100 free in 49.85, good enough for 41st place in a field of over 70 swimmers.
“Those swims by Amanda and Hanna kept the train rolling,” Bernardino said. “Amanda threw down a lifetime best and allowed Christine to feed off of that. Hannah had a great swim that really inspired the relay swimmers to also have a great performance.”
Sophomore Lauren Smart was 21st in the 200 back, finishing in 1:55.38, while senior Katherine McDonnell was 43rd in the 200 breast, touching in 2:15.19.
In the 200 fly, junior Liz Shaw placed 24th (1:57.74) and classmate Claire Crippen finished 34th (1:59.89).