Women's Swimming and Diving team in seventh after first day of NCAA Championships
ATHENS, Ga. -- The Texas women's swimming and diving team scored 54 points on the first of three days of competition and put both relay teams in the finals to sit in seventh-place at the 2006 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., in Gabrielsen Natatorium.
The finals started off with the Longhorns taking fourth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a season best time of 1:30.27.5. Freshman Hee-Jin Chang (Seoul, Korea) earned her first career All-American honors with a lead-off leg of 23.13, followed by fellow rookie Lina Petersson (Karlskrona, Sweden) who also earned her first All-American certificate in the second leg (22.42). Junior Connie Brown (Andover, Mass.) swam the third leg of the relay (22.30) and senior Jaclyn Faulkner (New Orleans, La.) swam the anchor leg in a time of 22.42 to earn her first All-American honor.
In the second relay of the day, the 400-yard medley relay, Texas took seventh-place with a time of 3:37.99. Brown took her second honors of the day to become a six-time career All-American after finishing the starting leg with a split of 54.40. Junior Elizabeth Tinnon (Bowling Green, Ky.) became a seven-time All-American after producing a split of 1:00.01 in the second leg. Young Petersson added to her accolades with another honor by finishing the third leg in a time of 53.93 and Faulkner earned her second All-American honor with an anchor leg split of 49.65.
For Faulkner and Petersson it was their fifth races of the day after two rounds of preliminaries and finals in both relays and each missing the All-American cut in the preliminaries of the 50-yard freestyle.
"I thought we had a good day," said women's co-head coach Jill Sterkel. "We were a little frustrated about not getting anyone in the individual events but felt the relays were very strong. Most of our athletes performed the best they have all season and that is all you can ask for. We were close to knocking on the door and scoring but tomorrow we need to do the opposite and add to our numbers."
The second day of competition will begin at 11.a.m. with preliminaries of the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke, 3-meter diving and 800-yard freestyle relay. Finals of all the day's events will begin at 7 p.m.
"I think tomorrow lends to our strengths to add some more points," said Sterkel. "Friday can be a good day for us with four Longhorns diving and a large number of our team in the pool swimming."
Texas will have at least one swimmer in each of tomorrow's events, including three, Tinnon, junior Leah Avilla (Livermore, Calif.) and freshman Alexi Spann (Austin, Texas) in the 100-yard breaststroke.
"Every session at the NCAAs is a different meet," said Sterkel. "You can't miss on what is coming next because of what happened last. You have to let go of what happened the day before and be ready to start all over again."
Thursday was the lightest day of the three at the 2006 NCAA Championships with only a total of five swimming events and one diving event. Current leader Arizona took advantage with depth and scored 161 points, followed by Auburn in second with 151 points and host Georgia in third with 147 points.
Women's Teams Scores (through five events)