Feb. 18, 2012
HOUSTON - The Green Wave posted three Top 10 finishes and six individuals clocked personal-best times as the Tulane University women's swimming and diving team wrapped up the 2012 Conference USA Championship in sixth place on Saturday at the University of Houston's Campus Wellness and Recreation Center.
With 195.5 points during the championship meet, the Green Wave were 88.5 points behind fifth-placed Marshall (284) and 357.5 in back of fourth-placed Houston (553). SMU won the team title with 816 points, followed by Rice with 718 and East Carolina with 690.5.
"We finished the meet with 26 season best swims and 8 personal bests," Tulane head coach Lena Guarriello said. "I am proud of the way the team prepared for this weekend and with the way they performed from start to finish. We may not have finished as high as we would like, but the team never gave up and battled in each and every event."
Emily Needham posted the Green Wave's top finish of the day, touching the wall in the 200 fly with 2:03.79 to come in seventh overall. Gisele Calderon was two places behind in the event with a personal-best 2:05.23. Kayla Alf-Huynh, meanwhile, recorded Tulane's other Top 10 showing, clocking a 50.65 in the 100 free to finish ninth.
Rachel Ranson was second to Alf-Huynh in the 100 free with a 51.61 to finish 13th while Hagar Elgendy and Kristine Gu came in 14th and 16th with times of 51.75 and 52.37, respectively. Elgendy's finals time was a personal best, as was Gu's 52.23 in the preliminaries.
Lauren Pfohl paced the Tulane effort in the 200 back with a 2:04.21 to finish 12th and Erin Cunningham was 15th overall with a 2:06.95. Caitlin Corcoran, meanwhile, tallied a personal-best 2:24.88 in the 200 breast to finish 15th.
Allie Evans led Tulane in the 1650 free with a mark of 17:31.05 to finish 17th overall while Claire Schelske and Laura Turpen turned in personal-best times of 17:41.92 and 18:02.16 to rank 19th and 20th, respectively.
Tulane had a chance to pad its score and close things out on a high note before a technicality got in the way. The quartet of Ranson, Alf-Huynh, Gu and Elgendy combined to clock a 3:24.23 in the championship-ending 400 free relay and the team was initially euphoric as the time was good enough for third overall and an NCAA provisional cut. Shortly after the race was concluded, however, the Green Wave's time was erased as one of the swimmers was deemed to have left four-one-hundredths of a second early.
"We had the best relay performance since 2005 in the 400 free relay and were really excited with a third-place finish and an NCAA B cut, but found out one minute later that we were disqualified on a false start. It was a disappointing end to the meet."