Women's Swimming and Diving picks up 20 finals bids in day three prelims at Big 12 Championships
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Led by five finals-qualifying scores in the one-meter diving event, No. 11 Texas collected 20 finals bids for the day three finals session Friday at the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships at Texas A&M's Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
For the second time in as many days, Texas will enjoy substantial point production in a diving event, as five Longhorns qualified for the this evening's one-meter finals. Junior Mary Yarrison (Springfield, Va.), who captured the Big 12 three-meter title on Thursday evening, took first in the one-meter prelims with a score of 310.45. Sophomore Kathryn Kelly (Longwood, Fla.), the 2006 Big 12 one-meter champion, sits in second at 286.05. Junior Jessica Livingston (Houston, Texas) is in third place with 268.10, and sophomore Kara-Jayne Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.) sits in fourth at 265.00. Senior Nikki Triplett qualified for finals with a seventh-place score of 243.85.
Texas opened the day three preliminary round by landing three Longhorns in the 400 individual medley finals. Leading the way was freshman Susana Escobar (Queretaro, Mexico), who took fourth in 4:18.91. Junior Macie Garrett (Nashville, Tenn.) took seventh in 4:20.93 and sophomore Alison Soelter (Ulysses, Kan.) placed eighth in 4:20.97.
Longhorns will comprise half of the field in the 100 butterfly finals, as Texas placed four in the evening finals. Senior Katie Robinson (Dillsboro, Ind.) took second in 54.13, and senior Connie Brown followed closely behind in 54.36. Sophomore Jacqueline Martin-Lacey (Nashville, Tenn.) placed sixth in 55.53, and sophomore Hee-Jin Chang (Seoul, Korea) placed eighth in 56.39.
Freshman Alex Basso (Houston, Texas) continued her solid meet with a first-place preliminary round time of 1:47.92 in the 200 freestyle. Junior Delia Huang (Austin, Texas) will join Basso in the final after clocking an eighth-place time of 1:50.10.
A Longhorn trio took the top three positions in the 100 breaststroke, with senior Elizabeth Tinnon (Bowling Green, Ky.) leading the way in 1:01.15. Senior Leah Avilla (Livermore, Calif.) took second in 1:01.92 while sophomore Alexi Spann (Austin, Texas) placed third in 1:02.15. Tinnon enters the evening finals with the nation's second-fastest 100 breaststroke mark at 59.96.
Texas entered the meet with two student-athletes ranked in the Big 12's top 10 in the 100 backstroke, but UT will send three Longhorns to this evening's finals. Brown equaled her season-best time of 54.69 to take first in the preliminary round. A mark of 54.47 in this evening's finals would give Brown NCAA automatic bids in three individual events (100 freestyle, 100 butterfly). Senior Elaine Ferritto (Columbus, Ohio), who did not have a top-10 league mark in the 100 backstroke entering the meet, took fourth in the preliminary round at 55.37. Sophomore Lindsay Voyles (Austin, Texas) took sixth in 55.61.
Texas currently sits in second place with 288 points. Texas A&M leads the meet with 316 points. Tonight's swim finals get underway with the 200 freestyle relay at 6 p.m. Central. The one-meter diving finals begin at 5 p.m.