Prelims: Day Two at Women's NCAAs
AUSTIN, Texas – Sophomore Lauren Perdue will return to the finals in the 200 freestyle and senior Claire Crippen earned a spot in the consolation final of the 400 individual medley as the 2011 Women’s NCAA Championships continued Friday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Preliminaries were held in the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke.
Perdue earned All-America honors Thursday night with her eighth-place performance in the 50 freestyle. She will return there tonight after posting a mark of 1:43.97 in the preliminaries of the 200 freestyle. That time was the sixth-fastest of the morning.
“She was in a tough situation being in the first of the seeded heats,” head coach Mark Bernardino said. “Her time became the target and everybody knew what they had to do. She is in a great place and I really believe she has a better swim in her this evening.”
Crippen is back in the consolation final of the 400 IM for the fourth consecutive year. She finished with a time of 4:07.69 (12th) during the morning session. Her best finish in the event was 10th a year ago.
Senior Liz Shaw also had an impressive swim in the 400 IM and missed the consolation final by two spots. She won the first heat with a mark of 4:10.66, near her career-best time of 4:10.48 from her first year in 2008. It was a seven-second drop from her time of 4:17.80 in the event at the Georgia Invitational in December.
“A near-miss for Liz but certainly an outstanding swim,” Bernardino said. “It was really exciting to see Liz start us off that way. Claire had a terrific swim to make it back for the opportunity to race this evening.”
Sophomore Meredith Cavalier finished 29th overall in the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.76 and junior Kelly Flynn clocked a lifetime best in the 100 breaststroke, placing 37th in 1:01.96.
“An excellent performance for Kelly in the breaststroke and Meredith in the backstroke,” Bernardino said. “Meredith was eight-tenths faster than she was yesterday. We just have so many young kids here – there are a lot of jitters.”
Senior Anne Summer Myers was 35th in the 400 IM (4:16.27) while classmate Kristen Moores placed 40th in the 200 freestyle (1:47.37).
The 200 medley relay team of Meredith Cavalier, Kelly Flynn, Emily Lloyd and Hannah Davis began the day with a 20th-place finish, clocking a time of 1:40.47.
The 800 freestyle relay will be contested in a time final tonight. Virginia, which set the conference record at the ACC Championships last month, will swim in the second of three heats this evening.
“This evening we want to put the pieces together for a really strong 800 free relay,” Bernardino said. “This is by far the most competitive this meet has ever been. To make it back and swim at night is going to take a monumental effort. We have to stay after it.”
Finals begin at 7 p.m. CDT time (8 p.m. Eastern) tonight from Austin and will be webcast on www.espn3.com.