Feb. 22, 2013
HOUSTON - Freshman Mia Schachter posted a school-record and an NCAA "B" cut in the 100 breast with a mark of 1:01.81 as the Tulane University swimming and diving team posted another solid performance in day three of the 2013 Conference USA Championship on Friday at the University of Houston's Campus Wellness Recreation Center Natatorium.
Schachter's mark was one of three team records established on Friday as senior Kayla Alf-Huynh set a new standard in the 100 fly and did the Green Wave's 400 medley relay team. In addition, Tulane had 20 personal-best times and a pair of top scores in diving.
"It wasn't just a `B' cut but there's chit-chat out there that she's going to make the meet," Tulane interim head coach T.J. Natal said of Schachter's performance in the 100 breast. "She ranks 16th in the country right now after her swim and she needs to finish in the top 42 to make the (NCAAs). She broke the record this morning and broke it again tonight.
"We can't control how well or how poorly other teams have been doing all week. All we can do is control us. We've been focusing a lot on us. We're trying to do the best we can to keep up with other teams, but at the end of the day our goal was to really come here and prove that what we did this year has worked and to swim at a really competitive level."
With one day of competition left in the C-USA Championship, the Green Wave are fifth with 266 points and hold a 91-point lead over sixth-placed Marshall (175). Houston leads the team race with 480.5 points, followed by Rice with 480, SMU with 441.5 and East Carolina with 399.
Schachter's time in the 100 breast broke the former mark of 1:03.52 set by Linda McEachrane on Feb. 24, 2006 at that year's C-USA Championship. Alf-Huynh's record-setting showing in the 100 fly came during the preliminaries where she broke her own school record of 55.49 at last year's league meet. She finished seventh in the finals with a mark of 55.39.
The quartet of freshman Elizabeth Cook, Schachter, Alf-Huyhn and senior Kristine Gu round out the record-setting efforts and finished fifth in the 400 medley relay team with a time of 3:45.22. That time was over two seconds faster than the previous record of 3:47.38 set by Tiffany Brown, McEachrane, Taylor Emerson and Sarah Dichary at the 2005 C-USA Championship on Feb. 24, 2005.
Freshman Roni Meyer led the Green Wave effort in the 400 IM with a 2:26.53 to finish fourth in the race while fellow rookie Holly Grender was 16th with a 4:31.65. Meyer's time in the event is the third-fastest in school history.
Sophomore Amy Needham finished 14th in the 100 fly with a time of 56.41 and her time of 56.11 in the preliminaries is the sixth-best in the Tulane annals. Senior Gisele Calderon clocked a 1:51.07 in the 200 free to finish 13th and her time of 1:51.00 in the preliminaries is the fifth-fastest in school history. Cook, meanwhile, posted the ninth-fastest time in school history in the 100 back with a 56.51 to finish eighth overall.
In diving competition, freshmen Lauren Arnold and Maren Kjell finished fourth and eighth, respectively in the one-meter springboard. Arnold's score of 262.85 was just two points shy of a zone cut and stands as the second-best dive in school history. Kjell, meanwhile, scored a 205.50 in the finals after posting a 213.25 in the preliminaries.
Tulane had seven other swimmers advance to the finals on Friday as seniors Lauren Pfohl and Allie Evans finished 14th and 16th in the 200 free with respective times of 1:51.73 and 1:53.29. Sophomore Claire Schelske and senior Jillian Daleiden posted times of 1:05.84 and 1:07.14 to finish 12th and 14th in the 100 breast, respectively. Pfohl (56.31), Vanessa Loewen (56.83) and Needham (58.16), meanwhile, finished 10th, 11th and 16th in the 100 back.
"It was really exciting and it wasn't just one girl or two girls swimming well," Natal said. "It was a real, combined effort from everybody, and we had two girls on the diving side who made the finals as well. It was a really exciting morning with lots of personal bests."
The preliminaries produced six more personal-best times as Rachel Schneider had a 4:37.73 in the 400 IM, Schachter (56.62) and Loewen (57.51) did so in the 100 fly, and Cari Caprio (1:53.55), Gu (1:53.82) and Elizabeth Whitaker (1:52.78) accomplished the feat in the 200 free. In addition, Grace Tarka had season-best times in the 100 fly (58.05) and 100 back (1:00.48), as did Emily Needham with a 57.78 in the 100 fly.
The 2013 C-USA Swimming & Diving Championship concludes on Saturday with the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 1650 free and platform diving on Saturday. Preliminaries for all swimming events begin each at 10 a.m. with finals slated to begin at 6 p.m.
"We're really excited about tomorrow," Natal added. "We have a bunch of really good events for us. I think we can drop a couple of more school records and a couple of girls who have a shot to make `B' cut or two. In diving, the platform is Lauren Arnold's best position and that's what we've brought her here for."