INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Ashley Neidigh, the 2017 SEC Champion in the mile, brought home an eighth-place finish in the event at the 2017 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium on Saturday night in Indianapolis.
Neidigh brought home Auburn's highest finish in the event since 2009 with a time of 15:54.88. After placing 20th in the event a year ago, her 2017 Championships time is not only a personal record but also the 10th-fastest performance in school history. Her 1000 split of 9:37.44 is also a new school record.
"To see Ashley perform the way she did tonight is just outstanding," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "She's come a long way in her four years and she thoroughly deserved that top-eight finish."
Julie Meynen earned honorable mention All-America honors in the 100 free as she finished 16th in 48.21. She had advanced to the consolation finals on the heels of a personal-best 48.04, which tied for the 20th-fastest performance in school history.
Auburn closed out the championships by tying for 14th in the 400 free relay. Senior Allyx Purcell had leadoff honors and swam a 48.94 before handing off to Aly Tetzloff (48.90). From there it was Ashton Ellzey (49.72) giving way to Meynen, who brought the team back from eighth in the heat to a tie for a sixth with a heat-best 47.46 anchor leg.
In total, Auburn, which finished 18th with 55 points, earned a total of 12 All-America honors from seven athletes and saw a pair of school records fall.
"I'm proud of the girls for their fight all year and I'm proud of the way they came together," Hawke said. "I'm excited for the future. We have some really solid talent in our younger classes.
"That being said, I'm super proud of the seniors and how they led this team all year," Hawke said. "We made a big jump (in the standings) in a year and I know there's a lot more in us as well."
Stanford and California combined to win 16 out of 18 swimming events, with Stanford winning the overall team title with 526.5 points. Cal came in second with 366 points.
ESPNU will air a two-hour broadcast via tape delay at 6 p.m. CT, Tues., March 28.
1. Kathleen Baker (CAL) 1:49.96/1:48.44
48. Erin Falconer 1:57.55
1. Oliva Rosendahl (NORTHWESTERN) 339.00/335.30
400 Freestyle Relay
1. Stanford (Manuel 46.02, Ledecky 47.59, Hu 47.63, Neal 46.37) 3:07.61
T14. Auburn (Purcell 48.94, Tetzloff 48.90, Ellzey 49.72, Meynen 47.46) 3:15.02
1. Stanford 526.5
2. California 366
3. Texas A&M 292.5
4. Georgia 252.5
5. Texas 252
18. Auburn 55
Auburn's All-America Honors (7 athletes, 12 honors)
Haley Black -- 100 Fly HM
Ashton Ellzey -- 200 FR, 400 FR HM
Alison Maillard -- 1-Meter HM
Julie Meynen -- 100 Free HM, 200 FR, 400 FR HM
Ashley Neidigh -- 1650 Free
Allyx Purcell -- 200 FR, 400 FR HM
Aly Tetzloff -- 200 FR, 400 FR HM
Alison Maillard became the first Auburn female freshman to score points on the 1-meter at the NCAA Championships
Ashley Neidigh's 1000 free school record came during her 8th-place mile performance ... Her mile finish was the highest for Auburn at NCAAs since 2009 (Maggie Bird) ... Her 4:41.77 in the 500 free was the 13th-fastest performance in school history
Haley Black now has two of the top three performances in school history in the 100 fly (51.08 & 51.47)
Aly Tetzloff's 22.19 leadoff split from the 200 free relay makes her the ninth-fastest performer in school history ... Her 48.53 leadoff split from the 400 FR tied her for seventh-fastest performer with Allyx Purcell and Becky Short
Julie Meynen's 48.04 in the 100 free prelims is tied for the 20th-fastest performance in school history
Breanna Roman's 2:11.52 in the 200 breast made her the sixth-fastest performer in school history
Zoe Thatcher's 4:42.25 in the 500 free was the 21st-fastest performance in school history