Feb. 16, 2012
HOUSTON - Eighteen season-best swims and five personal-best efforts highlighted the Green Wave's effort, but it was not enough to keep the Tulane University women's swimming and diving team from slipping into sixth place in day two of the 2012 Conference USA Championship on Thursday at the University of Houston's Campus Wellness and Recreation Center.
Gisele Calderon, Morgan Evans, Kristine Gu, Hagar Elgendy and Rachel Ranson all posted personal bests, and junior Kayla Alf-Huynh finished fourth in the 50 free with a time of 23.27. With 77 points so far in the championship meet, the Green Wave are 31 points behind fifth-placed Marshall (108) and 116 in back of fourth-placed Houston (193). SMU leads the standings with 269 points, followed by Rice with 259 and East Carolina with 230.
"We didn't have the day of racing that we had anticipated, but had a lot of highlights from both sessions of the meet," Tulane head coach Lena Guarriello said. "We had a little bit of bad luck. Hagar had a bad slip off the blocks in the 50 free in the prelims, and our 400 medley relay was disqualified due to a stroke infraction on the breaststroke leg. We've got some big races ahead of us tomorrow and we've also got our two best relays left tomorrow and Saturday."
Calderon's personal best came in the 500 free where she posted a 5:05.29. Evans did so in the 200 IM with a 2:17.20 and the trio of Ranson (23.83 in the prelim), Gu (24.16 prelim) and Elgendy (23.83) followed suit in the 50 free.
Alf-Huynh and Elgendy paced the Green Wave effort in the 50 free with fourth- and 15th-place finishes, respectively, while Ranson was 16th with a finals time of 24.02. Also scoring for Tulane was junior Erin Cunningham in the 200 IM, finishing 14th with a 2:06.43. Elizabeth Whitaker was next for Tulane in the event with a 2:10.46, followed by Grace Tarka (2:11.63) and Shelby Kiser (2:12.38).
Emily Needham posted Tulane's top time in the 500 free with a 5:05.10 in the preliminaries. Following Calderon's personal-best showing, Claire Schelski tallied a time of 5:07.40 while Lauren Pfohl (5:07.88), Allie Evans (5:09.55) and Molly Jubas (5:14.11) rounded out the field.
Tulane had a chance to add to its tally in the 400 medley relay, but the quartet of Alf-Huynh, Cunningham, Tarka and Ranson were disqualified due to an illegal stroke.
The four-day C-USA Championship continues on Friday when the teams compete in the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, one-meter springboard and 200 free relay 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.