March 17, 2011
AUSTIN --- A pair of consolation final victories highlighted the Texas A&M women's swimming and diving team's first day at the 2011 NCAA Championships on Thursday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center on the University of Texas campus.
The "B" final victories helped boost Texas A&M to 11th place with 39 points in the team standings after day one as the Aggies seek their fifth straight top 10 finish at the NCAA Championships. The Aggies are looking up at Georgia (129 points), USC (122),. Stanford (116), Cal (115), Arizona (99), Auburn (80), Texas (68), Minnesota (67), Wisconsin (56) and Florida (36).
Grabbing the first consolation final victory was freshman Kristen Heiss from 2009, which was also the Big 12 Conference standard. Fellow freshman Sarah Henry was fifth in the consolation final with a time of 4:40.25, after qualifying in a lifetime best of 4:39.69.
"Cammile went out a little too hard in the morning and we talked about that," Aggie head coach Steve Bultman said. "She swam it so much smarter tonight, and that was reflected in the time she swam. We have a lot of young swimmers here and so it's good to see them make positive changes and get rewarded for it."
The Aggies closed out the night with a win in the 400-yard medley relay consolation final. The foursome of sophomore Tess Simpson, freshman Breeja Larson, sophomore Kendra Chernoff and freshman Lili Ibanez finished in 3:31.80, which was just off their school record of 3:31.04 from the Big 12 Championships and ranks as the second-fastest effort in school history.
"We talked about that there were a bunch of good teams in the consolation heat, and we ended up winning it and would have been sixth in the `A' final," Bultman said. "It was a really good swim with some good relay splits, so I think that sort of performance is something we can build on for tomorrow and the rest of the meet.
In other relay action, the Aggies opened the evening session with a fifth-place finish in the consolation final of the 200-yard freestyle relay. The foursome of senior Maria Sommer and freshmen Erica Dittmer, Paige Miller and Lili Ibanez touched the wall in 1:29.68. Earlier in the day, the Aggies posted their season-best of 1:29.35 in the prelims.
50-yard freestyle 25th, Maria Sommer, 22.42 38th, Lili Ibanez, 22.71