Auburn In Sixth After Day One Of The 2011 NCAA Championships
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace celebrates after winning the 50 freestyle finals.
March 17, 2011
AUSTIN - The Auburn women's swimming and diving team completed day one of the 2011 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in sixth place with 80 points Thursday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin.
Georgia leads the competition with 129 points, followed by USC with 122, Stanford with 116 and Arizona with 99.
The Tigers earned 12 All-American honors on a day that saw junior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace claim the school's first NCAA title in the women's 50 freestyle.
"It's a great feeling," said Vanderpool-Wallace. "At camp to begin the season we set goals for ourselves an one was to win the 50 freestyle. It's great to see that accomplished.
"It was a busy day, but totally worth it. Tomorrow I go in as the fifth seed in the 100 butterfly so there's no weight on my shoulders."
Vanderpool-Wallace, who just last month set a new Auburn 50 free record at the SEC Championships, hit the wall in 21.38 to edge out Cal's Liv Jensen (21.50). The national title is the first for Vanderpool-Wallace who is a 15-time All-American and has earned 10 conference titles.
The Nassau, Bahamas, native's opening split of 10.40 was a mere hundredth of a second faster than Jensen, at but was able to pull away during the final 25 and bring home Auburn's 30th national title. Vanderpool-Wallace's second 25 split was 10.98 to Jensen's 11.09.
"Tomorrow will be a big day for us," said Auburn head coach Brett Hawke. "We need to come in with our game face on. It was great to see some of the younger swimmers stepping up and, of course, to see Arianna (Vanderpool-Wallace) do what she did. It was just a huge swim. You could tell she was zeroing in."
Junior diver Vennie Dantin placed sixth on the one-meter springboard with a 12-dive total of 318.65. The result is her best showing at NCAA's off the one-meter and ties for her best showing ever. The Conroe, Texas native placed sixth off the tower at the 2010 NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Indiana.
"It was kinda the same thing as this morning," said Dantin. "Each dive was consistant. One of the dives I felt was really good was my gainer. It just finished really clean and i was able to pull it off crisply."
Senior Caitlin Geary picked up seven points for the Tigers, placing second in the 200 IM consolation finals to USC's Stina Gardell. Geary's time of 1:56.89 was a new season best. The Orlando, Fla., native made her way to the finals posting a 1:57.25 for a 10th-place preliminary finish. Her finals freestyle leg of 26.93 was the third fastest of all 200 IM heats - prelims or finals.
The Auburn squad of Hannah Riordan, Emily Bos, Lindsey Norberg and Vanderpool-Wallace claimed fifth in the 200 free relay, touching in at 1:28.43. Vanderpool-Wallace, who swam the field's fastest split, repeated in finals. The Nassau, Bahamas native swam a finals leg of 21.24, after turning in a 21.21 in morning heats.
The Auburn 400 medley relay team of Bos, Lauren Norberg, Olivia Scott and Vanderpool-Wallace placed 11th, touching in at 3:33.92.
The Tigers return to action Friday morning at 11 a.m. CST with prelims for the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, three-meter diving and 800 free relay.
2010-11 Top Times
Caitlin Geary - 200 IM (prelims) - 1:56.89
Katie Gardocki - 500 free (prelims) - 1:57.25
All-America Honors (12)
Caitlin Geary - 200 IM (honorable mention)
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace - 50 FR, 200 FR-R, 400 MED-R (honorable mention)
Vennie Dantin - 1-meter springboard
Emily Bos - 200 FR-R, 400 MED-R (honorable mention)
Hannah Riordan - 200 FR-R
Lindsey Norberg - 200 FR-R
Lauren Norberg - 400 MED-R (honorable mention)
Micah Lawrence - 400 MED-R (honorable mention)
Olivia Scott - 400 MED-R (honorable mention)