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Auburn Women's Swimming And Diving Claims Another National Championship

March 10, 2007

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Complete Meet Results in PDF Format


For the second straight year and the fifth time in the last six seasons, the Auburn women's swimming and diving team is National Champions. It wasn't as dramatic as last year's three-point victory over Georgia that came down the final race, but for the second year in a row, Auburn had to come from behind on the final day, this time erasing a 32-point deficit to Arizona to win by a final margin of 58 points.


It was a total team effort, as all 19 Auburn swimmers and divers that competed earned at least one All-American honor, combining for a total of 55 honors during the three-day meet. The 19 individuals to earn All-American status is a new Auburn record, surpassing the previous mark of 18 set in 2004 and 2006, while the 57 total All-American awards ranks second best in a single championship meet for the Auburn women.


"We were utterly amazing this morning," said David Marsh, who together with Auburn co-women's head coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker was named Division I Women's Coach of the Year following the meet. "Every one of our girls moved on to a second swim, except one who was disqualified. We make a goal of that, but to actually accomplish that is phenomenal. What that was was a reflection of the year and the way Dorsey prepared their training program. They knew that they'd be toughest the last day, and I had no doubt that we'd have our best day today. That allowed us in the last two days to be poised and be a little behind but to stick with it."


"The girls surprised even me, and I don't get surprised very often," said Tierney-Walker. "What a total team effort each session. The way we came out and just got better and better every session says something. This team has been through some challenges this year, and I think it's made them stronger as individuals and stronger as a unit. It certainly showed this weekend, and it's by far the best this team has every swum. I couldn't be more proud."


The Tigers scored 535 points to Arizona's 477 points, as the two teams distanced themselves from the rest of the field. California was third with 372.5 points, followed by Stanford (333) and Georgia (290). The Tigers won four individual events and set eight school records during the meet.


"It unbelievable," said senior co-captain Adrienne Binder. "I never knew that I could be this emotional about it. I am so proud of this team and I couldn't be happier right now. It's been the most amazing experience and we've been through so much this year. It couldn't have gone any better. It's perfect."


The finals session started with a bang for Auburn, as the Tigers took the top two spots and had four of the top 15 in the 1650 free. Hayley Peirsol defended her NCAA title in the 1650, breaking her own school record with a time of 15:45.92. Peirsol raced to an early lead and lapped much of the field, cruising to victory by more than seven seconds. Her nearest competitor was Binder, the third-place finisher at last year's meet in the 1650 free. Binder came home in a personal best time of 15:53.44 to earn the silver.


"I wanted to go out with a bang," said Peirsol. "During the whole race, I was just thinking `Suck it up for a little over 15 minutes.' We have put in the work this year. We have worked hard and NCAAs is just the fun part. This is where all of the work pays off."


Chelsea Haser finished in ninth place with a time of 16:12.85, and Maggie Bird was 15th in 16:18.03 as the Tigers rolled up 48 points in the event to erase the 32-point deficit to Arizona and take over first place in the team standings after just one final.


In the next event, the 200 back, Auburn's depth helped add to the lead, as the Tigers placed five swimmers in the top 16. Melissa Marik swam in the championship final and finished eighth in 1:56.69. In the consolation finals, 100 back champion Rachel Goh finished 10th in 1:55.76, Julianne McLane was 11th in 1:56.28, Margo McCawley was 12th in 1:56.53 and Emile Ewing was 16th in 1:57.83.


The Tigers had two of the top five finishers in the 100 free, as Kara Denby placed fourth in 48.07 seconds, just .03 shy of her school record from the prelims, and Emily Kukors was fifth in 48.40 seconds. It was the sixth of Kukors' seven All-American honors during the meet, giving her 19 for her career, while Denby had her fifth of six All-American honors while finishing the meet with 17 for her career.


Auburn placed three swimmers in the top 10 of the 200 breast, expanding the lead to over 50 points and securing the team title with two finals left. Kristen Hastrup led the way with a fifth-place finish in 1:55.90, while freshman Ava Ohlgren added to her stellar meet with a seventh-place finish in 1:56.343, earning the fifth of her six All-American honors for the meet, tying her for second most by a freshman in school history. Tawnie Bethune placed 10th with a time of 1:57.80 in the consolation final.


In the platform diving competition, Lynnsey Segraves just missed a spot in the championship final with a ninth-place finish in the prelims and a score of 272.60. But she bounced back in a big way, setting a school record with a score of 300.05 to win the consolation final. She was consistent in her second list, scoring between 58.80 and 60.90 on all five dives, including a score of 60.20 on her last dive that allowed her to win the consolation final by 5.3 points.


"What a great way for her to end her career, with a consolation win and a new school record breaking 300 points," said head diving coach Jeff Shaffer. "I'm real proud of her effort today and real proud of the performances by both Lynnsey and Corey (Gerlach) at this years NCAAs. I'm glad we could contribute to the team effort."


The Tigers capped off the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 400 free relay, as the team of Denby, Ohlgren, Marik and Kukors finished with a time of 3:15.35. It was not as quick as their mark from the prelims, but with victory assured, it hardly seemed to matter.


It marked the 11th national championship of Marsh's career (six men, five women), as he coached his final women's meet at Auburn.


"Sending out David in his final women's meet with a victory was very, very important to this group," said Tierney-Walker. "It was very well-deserved for David and I wouldn't want to send him out any other way."



2007 NCAA Championships
Day Three Event Winners And Auburn Finishes


1650 free

1. Hayley Peirsol, 15:45.92

2. Adrienne Binder, 15:53.44

9. Chelsea Haser, 16:12.85

15. Maggie Bird, 16:18.03


200 back

1. Gemma Spoforth (FLA), 1:52.96

8. Melissa Marik, 1:56.69

10. Rachel Goh, 1:55.76

11. Julianne McLane, 1:56.28

12. Margo McCawley, 1:56.53

16. Emile Ewing, 1:57.83


100 free

1. Kara Lynn Joyce (UGA), 47.24

4. Kara Denby, 48.07

5. Emily Kukors, 48.40


200 breast

1. Rebecca Soni (USC), 2:08.23

10. Julie Stupp, 2:12.63

11. Alicia Jensen, 2:12.65


200 fly

1. Elaine Breeden (STAN), 1:53.02

5. Kristen Hastrup, 1:55.90

7. Ava Ohlgren, 1:56.34

10. Tawnie Bethune, 1:57.80


Platform Diving

1. Jessica Livingston (TEX), 350.20/357.85

9. Lynnsey Segraves, 272.60/300.05


400 free relay

1. California, 3:12.13

4. Auburn (Denby, Marik, Ewing, Kukors), 3:15.353


Auburn School Records Set During NCAA Meet

100 free - Kara Denby, 48.04 (Old record: 48.05 - Kara Denby, 2007)

200 free - Emily Kukors, 1:43.72 (Old record: 1:44.48 - Kirsty Coventry, 2005)

1650 free - Hayley Peirsol, 15:45.92 (Old record: 15:49.48 - Hayley Peirsol, 2006)

100 back - Rachel Goh, 51.97 (Old record: 52.32 - Kirsty Coventry, 2005)

100 fly - Kristen Hastrup, 1:55.32 (Old record: 1:55.53 - Demerae Christianson, 2004)

400 IM - Ava Ohlgren, 4:04.08 (Old record: 4:04.48 - Kirsty Coventry, 2005)

800 free relay - Ohlgren, Ewing, Kukors, Binder, 7:01.05 (Old record: Hoelzer, Kemp, Coventry, Bowen, 7:01.11 - 2003)

Platform diving - Lynnsey Segraves, 300.05


2007 Auburn All-American Honors

Anne Amardeilh - 400 IM (HM)

Tawnie Bethune - 400 MR, 200 fly (HM)

Adrienne Binder - 500 free, 400 IM, 800 FR, 1650 free

Maggie Bird - 500 free, 1650 free (HM)

Kara Denby - 200 FR, 400 MR, 50 free, 200 MR, 100 free, 400 FR

Emile Ewing - 200 FR, 800 FR, 200 back (HM), 400 FR

Corey Gerlach - 1-meter (HM), 3-meter (HM)

Rachel Goh - 400 MR, 200 MR, 100 back, 200 back (HM)

Chelsea Haser - 500 free (HM), 1650 free (HM)

Kristen Hastrup - 200 fly

Alicia Jensen - 200 breast (HM)

Emily Kukors - 200 FR, 200 IM, 200 MR, 200 free, 800 FR, 100 free, 400 FR

Melissa Marik - 200 FR, 100 back, 200 back, 400 FR

Margo McCawley - 200 MR, 100 back (HM), 200 back (HM)

Julianne McLane - 200 back (HM)

Ava Ohlgren - 200 IM, 400 MR, 400 IM, 800 FR, 200 fly, 400 FR

Hayley Peirsol - 500 free, 1650 free

Lynnsey Segraves - 3-meter, platform (HM)

Julie Stupp - 400 MR, 400 IM, 200 breast (HM)




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