Feb. 15, 2012
HOUSTON - The Tulane University swimming and diving team opened play in the 2012 Conference USA Championship in record fashion on Wednesday evening at the University of Houston's Campus Wellness and Recreation Center.
The Green Wave posted fifth-place showings in the 200 medley relay (1:45.06) and 800 free relay (7:28.86) to stand fifth among six teams after two events. Along the way, sophomore Rachel Ranson's leadoff split of 1:50.28 in the 800 relay is a Tulane record for the 200 free.
The Wave have 56 points so far in the championship; six in back of East Carolina and Houston - who are tied for third - and four more than sixth-placed Marshall. SMU holds the day-one lead with 80 and Rice is second at 68.
"We had a great start to the meet tonight," Tulane head coach Lena Guarriello said. "Obviously the highlight of the evening was definitely our 800 free relay. Rachel got things started off right and every other swimmer in the relay posted season-best times in their splits. It was by far our best relay performance since the reinstatement of our program."
Ranson's 200 free time surpasses the former Tulane record of 1:50.39 set by Sarah Dicharry on Feb. 25, 2005 in that year's C-USA Championship. Following Ranson's record-setting performance, Allie Evans swam a personal-best 52.75 in the first 100 of her relay leg, Elizabeth Whitaker posted a personal-best 200 split and Lauren Pfohl clocked a season-best in the anchor leg. The 800 free relay time stands second in Tulane history, just 18-100ths of a second behind the mark of 7:28.69 set by Cara Davidoff, Kate Naglick, Victoria Givens and Tiffany Brown at the 2006 C-USA Championship.
Tulane's 1:45.06 in the 200 medley, courtesy of strong performances by Kayla Alf-Huynh, Caitlin Corcoran, Grace Tarka and Hagar Elgendy, stands as the second-best time in Tulane history. The 2012 mark is 1.51 seconds behind the school-record of 1:43.15 set by Alf-Huynh, Erin Cunningham, Tarka and Elgendy at last season's league meet on Feb. 23, 2011.
The four-day C-USA Championship continues on Thursday when the teams compete in the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 3-meter diving, and 400 medley relay. From there, the teams will square off in the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, one-meter springboard and 200 free relay on Friday before closing out the weekend with the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 1650 free, platform diving and 400 free relays on Saturday.