With a team of 16 competitors at the national meet, the Aggies matched the fourth place finish by the 2008 squad. Georgia ran away with the team race with 477 points, followed by California (393), Tennessee (325.5), Texas A&M (323.50), Arizona (311), Florida (305), USC (291), Stanford (246), Texas (186) and Minnesota (141) to round out the top 10 finishers. It was the Aggies’ seventh straight top 10 finish at the NCAA Championships, all under the direction of head coach Steve Bultman.
“Being so close to third I would have loved to have pulled out a couple more points, but I was very happy with the way we competed and matching our best finish ever,” Bultman said. “We get to take a nice trophy back to College Station so that’s pretty exciting and I’m very proud of what this team accomplished.”
Highlighting the individual action for the Aggies on Saturday was junior Cammile Adams, who earned her first NCAA Championship with a win in the 200-yard butterfly. Adams, the NCAA runner-up in the race the past two seasons, dominated her specialty, winning the crown by over a second and a half in 1:52.61.
“She definitely knows how to pace this race,” Bultman said. “It’s always close at the 150 and then she keeps going at the same speed while everybody else falls off. She had been second the past two years, so I was really happy to see her break through tonight.”
Adams’ win gave the Aggies two individual titles in the same NCAA meet for the third time and for the second straight year. Adams added NCAA Champion to her resume which already included U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion and 200-meter fly finalist at the 2012 London Olympics. Her fifth place finish at the Olympics was the highest ever by a current Aggie swimmer.
Also posting her highest NCAA finish ever was sophomore Sarah Henry, who contributed a runner-up finish in the 1,650 freestyle. Henry put forth a gallant chase of USC’s Haley Anderson but couldn’t quite catch her as she finished in 15:46.41 to Anderson’s 15:45.98. Also contributing big points in the race for the Aggies was senior Maureen McLaine, who finished eighth with a time of 15:56.80 in her final race in the maroon and white.
“That was a heck of a race,” Bultman said of the duel between Henry and Anderson. “She finished a very close second to a great swimmer. For 15 minutes and 46 seconds, she went back and forth and to have the race decided by just four-tenths of a second is pretty amazing. I thought she swam a great race and did a great job of pacing.”
The Aggies also scored big points in the 200 breaststroke with junior Breeja Larson grabbing third in 2:06.24 and freshman Ashley McGregor placing eighth in 2:09.67.
A&M also scratched points in the 200 backstroke with senior Tess Simpson taking fourth in the B final (12th overall) in a school-record time of 1:53.20; in the 100 freestyle with sophomore Lili Ibanez tying for third in the B final (tie for 11th overall) in 48.43; and in the 400 freestyle relay with foursome of sophomore Sammie Bosma, junior Erica Dittmer, sophomore Kelli Benjamin and Ibanez placing eighth in 3:15.39.