Escobar reaches day one finals at NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Texas sophomore Susana Escobar shattered her lifetime best and landed the fifth seed in tonight's 500-yard freestyle final during the day one preliminary round session Thursday at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.
Escobar (Queretaro, Mexico) clocked 4:40.63 in the 500 freestyle, easily topping her previous lifetime best of 4:43.36. The mark accounts for the 10th-fastest swim in that event in school history. Escobar, entered the event as the 15th seed and placed 18th overall in the 500 freestyle at the 2007 NCAA Championships, will secure her first All-America honor with tonight's swim.
"Susana continues to really come into her own," UT coach Kim Brackin said. "Susana and (assistant coach) Jim Henry have prepared really well for this meet, and she just continues to bring it every time. That was a great swim!"
UT freshman Natalie Sacco (Dallas, Texas) took 43rd in the 500 freestyle prelims in 4:50.20. Florida's Caroline Burckle landed the top seed by setting a new pool record in 4:35.79 and nearly taking down Janet Evans' 18-year-old NCAA record of 4:34.39.
Junior Hee-Jin Chang (Seoul, South Korea) landed a spot in this evening's 50 freestyle consolation final by placing 13th in the prelims at 22.39. Chang will secure her first honorable mention All-America selection with tonight's swim. Freshman Brie Powers (Kalamazoo, Mich.) placed 46th in 23.10. California's Madison Kennedy set a new pool record in 21.87 to claim the top seed in this evening's final.
Texas took the final consolation spot in the 200 freestyle relay, as the quartet of Powers, Chang, freshman Marisa Rodriguez (Chesterfield, Mo.) and sophomore Alex Basso (Houston, Texas) clocked 1:30.57 for 16th place. Notably, Chang's second leg was the fastest among the 21 relays and the third-fastest leg of the 84 relay segments swam. After Powers opened in 23.03, Chang blazed to 21.59 in the second leg before giving way to Rodriguez, who brought the third leg home in 23.34. Basso anchored in 22.61.
UT's lone entry in the 200 IM, junior Alison Soelter (Ulysses, Kan.) was disqualified after touching the wall with only one hand on her breaststroke leg.
NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships