Perdue Collects All-America Honors in 50 Freestyle
AUSTIN, Texas – Sophomore Lauren Perdue collected her second career All-America honors in the 50 freestyle Thursday as the NCAA Championships continued from Austin, Texas. The event is being held at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the UT campus.
Virginia is 14th after six events with 27 points. Georgia currently leads the meet (129) followed by USC (122) and Stanford (116).
“We had a strong showing in the preliminaries but came up a little short this evening,” Bernardino said. “We had a lot of young swimmers and first-timers in the final heats. We learned a lot this evening so hopefully those lessons will serve them well for the remainder of the meet and the years to come.”
Perdue, fifth a year ago in the 50 freestyle, placed eighth in the event on day one of the NCAA Championships. She clocked a time of 22.32 in the final after breaking her own school record with a mark of 22.01 during the preliminaries.
“Lauren was a little slow off the blocks and even though she didn’t match her performance from this morning it was great to get her in the finals. We believe she is a much better swimmer than what that final result showed – that is just a race where if you make one small mistake it will haunt you.”
Freshman Rachel Naurath and senior Katya Bachrouche made their first career finals appearances in the 500 freestyle. Bachrouche was 12th overall with a time of 4:39.11 while Naurath, who set the Virginia school record in the morning session (4:38.48), placed 16th. Both picked up honorable mention All-America honors for the first time.
“I was very excited to see Katya have two great swims today,” Bernardino said. “Rachel probably learned more than anyone else with a change in race strategy and she couldn’t find her tempo. But we look forward to some great swims from her the rest of the meet.”
Virginia’s 200 freestyle relay team of Perdue, Hannah Davis, Kelly Flynn and Emily Lloyd began the evening with a 12th-place performance. The Cavaliers clocked a time of 1:29.56 to also earn honorable mention All-America accolades.
“They held their own,” Bernardino said. “It was a very competitive field. We feel our two best days are in front of us and we are looking for some great swimming tomorrow.”
Day two of the NCAA Championships continues Friday with the 200 medley relay, 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 800 freestyle relay. Preliminaries are set for 11 a.m. CDT (12 p.m. Eastern) and finals will begin at 7 p.m.