Livingston, Tinnon land third-place finishes at NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships
MINNEAPOLIS -- Texas garnered third-place finishes from junior diver Jessica Livingston and senior swimmer Elizabeth Tinnon and enjoyed a productive day-two effort Friday evening at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the University Aquatic Center. The Longhorns moved up two spots to seventh place after the second day with 156 points. Arizona leads the meet with 375 points.
Livingston (The Woodlands, Texas), who stood in seventh place at 335.80 after the three-meter diving preliminary round, vaulted into a third-place finish by totaling 367.15 in the finals. Junior Mary Yarrison (Springfield, Va.), who sat in fifth place after the preliminary round at 349.25, scored 339.30 in the finals to take seventh place.
"It was a good springboard day today for the Longhorns," said UT diving coach Matt Scoggin. "Mary (Yarrison) had a very strong preliminary round and really went for it in the finals. It didn't go as planned, but she has had a really good weekend. Jessica (Livingston) stepped it up and had a lifetime-best performance. We should be ready to go on the platform tomorrow."
"That was great for Texas Diving," added UT head coach Kim Brackin. "It was the best those divers have performed at this meet, and they keep getting better and better on each board."
Tinnon (Bowling Green, Ky.), the UT record holder in the 100- and 200-breaststroke events, placed third in 1:00.32. Tinnon was seventh after the first 50 yards in 28.45 before pushing from behind to reach third place.
"I'm sure Elizabeth would have liked to have seen a different time up on the board, but in true Texas spirit, she was just working for the team and trying to move up spots," Brackin said. "That's the highest she has ever placed. She was excited to contribute to our team goals. She'll be ready for a nice 200 (breaststroke) tomorrow."
Texas enjoyed a solid, collective effort from its breaststroke corps, getting an 11th-place finish in a season-best 1:01.38 from senior Leah Avilla (Livermore, Calif.) and a 14th-place finish in 1:01.78 from sophomore Alexi Spann (Austin, Texas).
"Our breaststrokers did what they needed to do in the morning, and moved up spots," Brackin said. "As always, we can count on our breaststroke crew."
The 200-yard medley relay quartet of senior Connie Brown (Andover, Mass.), Tinnon, senior Katie Robinson (Dillsboro, Ind.) and sophomore Hee-Jin Chang (Seoul, Korea) placed seventh in 1:39.30. Brown clocked 25.12 in the backstroke leg before giving way to Tinnon, who touched the breaststroke leg in 27.76.
Robinson delivered a solid butterfly leg in 24.03 before deferring to Chang, who closed the relay in 22.45 for a final relay time of 1:39.30.
Texas ended the meet with a terrific finish in the 800 freestyle relay, as Robinson, freshmen Susana Escobar (Queretaro, Mexico) and Alex Basso (Houston, Texas), and senior Elaine Ferritto (Columbus, Ohio) placed 10th in 7:11.19.
"Everyone was trying to do their best to earn one more point than we were expected to earn," Brackin said. "(Elaine) Ferritto showed her toughness in the end and kept her head down. As I told them before the finals today, a relay consists of four women - not one - and all four of them swam with their hearts on their sleeves."
Robinson added a 10th-place finish in the 100 butterfly, clocking a personal-best time of 53.05 for the fifth-fastest time in school history.
Brown chipped in a 13th-place showing in the 100 backstroke, clocking 54.07 after touching in 53.82 in the preliminary round.
"We've been getting better throughout the meet, and they'll be ready to throw down tomorrow morning," Brackin concluded. "They will control their destiny. They're not timid; they are excited to get up and race."
Saturday's swimming preliminary round gets underway at 11 a.m. Central.