March 20, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Auburn women’s swimming and diving team concluded the second day of 2009 NCAA Championship competition in fifth place, led by a runner-up performance from two-time NCAA Champion Rachel Goh in the 100 backstroke.
Auburn finished with 195 points, behind top-scorer California (302), Georgia (295.5), Arizona (282.5) and Stanford (213.5). Trailing the Tigers are Texas with 169 and host Texas A&M with 144.
Friday’s itinerary included prelims and finals for the 200 MR, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 3-meter springboard. Only an evening final was set for the 800 FR. Preliminaries began at 11 a.m. CST followed by finals at 7 p.m.
The Auburn backstrokers came up huge for the late in Friday’s NCAA Championship finals. The Tigers were able to pick up 37 crucial points in the 100 back, led by a second-place finish from Rachel Goh, a two-time national champion in the event. The Melbourne, Australia native picked up 17 points for the Tigers after hitting the wall in 51.61.
“Rachel and Margo did a real nice job in the 100 backstroke today,” said Auburn co-head coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker. “Rachel was swimming against an Olympic Bronze Medalist. I thought she executed very well. She missed one turn and it cost her a little time. Other than that, she was a great team captain today.”
Senior Margo McCawley earned 13 points for the Tigers with a sixth-place effort, coming in at 52.06. Also in the Friday night 100 back finals were senior Julianne McLane (52.71) and Melissa Marik (52.78), placing 13th and 14th in consolation.
Auburn was 46 points behind fourth-place Stanford after drawing a blank in the 100 breast finals, but was able to gain some ground thanks to Goh and company. The Tigers cut the Stanford lead to just 10.5 with only the 800 FR remaining.
Auburn claimed the 2009 SEC title in the event, slashing their way to a new US Open record time of 6:54.02. Ava Ohlgren set the Auburn 200 free record in the process, getting things started with a 1:42.99 leadoff split.
The team of Ohlgren (1:46.23), Geary (1:45.28), Marik (1:47.42), and Bird (1:45.92) was unable to find that same stride, coming in at 7:04.85 for an eighth-place finish.
Auburn relay got the finals going with a fourth place finish in the 200 MR, coming in at 1:36.85 behind Georgia, Wisconsin and Tennessee. The team of Rachel Goh (24.30), Micah Lawrence (27.85), Alana Dillette (23.33), and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (21.37) touched in with Auburn’s second fastest time of the season.
Top-seed Arizona was disqualified at the start of its 200 MR preliminary heat after senior Haley DeGolia was charged with a false start of the block.
Junior Ava Ohlgren was next up for the Tigers as their only entry into the 400 IM finals. The 2007 NCAA 400 IM Champion was denied a shot at a second title after missing the A final cut, seeded ninth with a prelim time of 4:07.28.
The Northville, Mich., native bettered her previous time by over three seconds to take first 4:04.18 in consolations. Had she made the cut to finals, her time would have equaled a sixth-place finish.
Junior Alana Dillette was the only Auburn swimmer competing in the 100 fly. The Nassau, Bahamas, native placed seventh in the consolation final with a time of 52.91, resulting in a 15th-place finish overall.
The 2008 Olympian swam a 52.53 in prelims to tie for the 14th seed in Friday night finals. Senior Margo McCawley placed 26th in prelims with a 52.82.
Through the 100 fly finals, California was in the lead with 207 points, followed by Arizona (196.5), Georgia (173), Stanford (167) and Auburn in fifth with 132.
Caitlin Geary placed 13th in the 200 free finals with a time of 1:45.09. The 2009 SEC Champion in the 200 free came in ninth in the morning prelims with a time of 1:44.71.
Junior Maggie Bird (1:46.57) placed 26th followed by senior Emile Ewing (1:46.86) in 32nd, senior Chelsea Haser (1:47.75) in 47th and freshman Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (1:48.22) in 51st.
Auburn was unable to advance a swimmer to the 100 breast finals, with freshman Micah Lawrence (1:00.73) getting closer than any other Tiger. The native Texan finished 19th and missed the 16th spot by less than four-tenths of a second.
Live results are available at http://www.aggieathletics.com/ncaa2009/swimming/women/index.html or by accessing the Auburn Swimming and Diving schedule on www.AuburnTigers.com.
Full meet information is also available at www.aggieathletics.com.
March 20, 2009