Virginia Women Finish 11th at NCAA Championships
March 22, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.–The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team earned two bronze medals on the final day of the NCAA Championships Saturday (March 22) at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Cavaliers scored 123 points for 11th place, the highest team finish since 2010 (ninth place). It is the seventh consecutive season UVa has finished in the top 20. Georgia successfully defended its national championship with 528 points, followed by Stanford (402.5) and California (386).
In the 1,650 free, freshman Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) earned bronze in a time of 15:42.04, breaking her own previous school record by almost six seconds (15:47.99), set at the ACC Championship in February. Smith’s 1,000-yard split of 9:30.19 is also a new school record.
“It felt great, I dropped 16 seconds off my best mile time over the course of the year,” Smith said. “It was an awesome way to end my first NCAA meet and I’m happy that I was able to swim my best time for the team.”
Sophomore Courtney Bartholomew (Holland, Mich.) took home bronze as well in the 200 back in a time of 1:50.84. It is Bartholomew’s second top-eight finish of the weekend after finishing fifth in the 100 back on Friday. Smith and Bartholomew’s third-place finishes mark the best UVa individual finish since Lauren Perdue finished second in the 200 free in 2011.
“It was a huge accomplishment to make two A Finals this week,” Bartholomew said. “After competing in consolation finals last year and seeing what being in the A Final is all about, with all the big names and how fast it takes to get there, I’m ready to take the next step towards the top of that podium.”
Freshman Laura Simon (Simmern, Germany) touched 11th in the 200 breast in a time of 2:08.69 to earn honorable mention All-America honors.
Sophomore Hanne Borgersen (Frederick, Md.) went a career-best time in the 1,650 free (16:09.00), the eighth-fastest time on UVa’s all-time list, to finish 16th and earn honorable mention All-America honors. Fellow sophomore Haley Durmer (Decatur, Ga.) also went a career-best time of 16:16.08 to place 24th. Juniors Kelly Offutt (Reisterstown, Md.) and Alison Haulsee (Glen Allen, Va.) finished 33rd and 38th in 16:23.99 and 16:28.24, respectively.
In the morning’s prelims, junior Ellen Williamson (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.) finished just outside the scoring places in the 200 back, finishing 17th in 1:54.17. Senior Caroline Kenney (Suwanee, Ga.) placed 22nd in 1:54.76, while freshman Kaitlyn Jones (Newark, Del.) was 31st in 1:55.56.
The 400 free relay of seniors Rachel Naurath (Manakin-Sabot, Va.) and Emily Lloyd (Severna Park, Md.) and freshmen Ellen Thomas (Guildford, United Kingdom) and Shannon Rauth (Glenmoore, Pa.) placed 20th in 3:17.18.
In the 100 free, Lloyd touched 44th in 49.35, while Thomas placed 56th in 50.36. In the 200 butterfly, junior Shaun Casey (Port Orange, Fla.) finished 26th in 1:56.97, while Alison Haulsee was 38th in 1:58.73.
Saturday’s Finals Results
Courtney Bartholomew – 3rd – 1:50.84
Laura Simon – 11th – 2:08.69
Saturday’s Prelim Results
Laura Simon – 14th – 2:09.01