Feb. 28, 2014
ATLANTA - Sophomore Mia Schachter broke her own school record in the 100 breaststroke and helped the 400 medley relay team do the same as the Tulane University women's swimming and diving team posted a lengthy list of accomplishments during day three of the 2014 Conference USA Championship on Friday at the Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center.
Schachter originally set the school record with a 1:00.96 in the 100 breast preliminaries, but was even better in the finals where she finished third overall at 1:00.90 to break her former mark of 1:01.81 at last year's C-USA meet. That time gives Schachter her second NCAA B Cut mark for the second time in as many days as she posted a provisional qualifying time in the 50 free on Thursday. She also joined forces with sophomore Elizabeth Cook, freshman Joy Jason and junior Amy Needham to post a 3:42.93 in the 400 medley relay - shaving 2.20 seconds off the previous school mark set by the same quartet at the Phill Hansel Invitational back on Nov. 21 - and finish third overall in the meet.
As a team, Tulane set 14 season-best marks on Friday, including 10 career-best marks. Through three days, the Green Wave have now established 22 high-water season marks with 14 career performances to go with a trio of school records.
"Today was a phenomenal day for the team," first-year Tulane head coach Katie Robinson said. "We started off with a bang making finals in five out of six events with a total of 12 scoring spots for the team. Since only the top 20 swimmers and divers make it back for finals in each event, you have to swim very fast and dive very well in the morning to have the opportunity to score at night. We had a total of nine lifetime best times for the morning and a new school record was set by Mia in the 100 breast which was awesome to see.
With 175 points on the day, the Green Wave more than doubled their production from the first two days and stand sixth in the team standings with 337 points. Tulane is currently just 62 points behind fifth-placed North Texas (389) and 46.5 points better than seventh-placed Florida Atlantic (290.5). Rice leads the team standings with 681 points, followed by FIU with 500, East Carolina with 472 and Western Kentucky with 428. Old Dominion (280) and Marshall (218.5) round out the nine-team field.
Including Schachter's third-place performance in the 100 breast, Tulane tallied five individual Top 10 finishes. Junior Amy Needham was fourth in the 100 fly with a career-best 55.20 while freshman Ellie Sills - who posted a career-best 55.58 in the preliminaries - was eighth with a 55.76. Needham's finals time is the No. 2 overall and individual mark in school history and her preliminary time ranks fourth overall. Sills' preliminary 100 fly ranks third individually and sixth overall in the Green Wave record book
Jason was second to Schachter on the team in the 100 breast, finishing seventh overall with a 1:03.10. Her time of 1:02.90 in the preliminaries was a career best while ranking second individually and seventh overall in Tulane history. Sophomore diver Lauren Arnold rounded out the Top 10 performers with a sixth-place showing in the one-meter springboard with a score of 249.75.
Sophomore Holly Grender posted a career-best 4:27.44 in the 400 IM preliminaries and finished 15th in the finals with a 4:38.62. Her preliminary time is the No. 5 individual time in Tulane history and the sixth-fastest overall in the Green Wave record book. Fellow sophomore Roni Meyer was next in the event with a season-best 4:29.11 to finish 17th in the meet and with the No. 13 overall time in Tulane history, and junior Laura Turpen posted a season-best performance in the preliminaries with a 4:34.13.
Cook, meanwhile, initially posted a season-best in the 100 back at 56.13 to finish 11th overall. The native of Texarkana, Texas, bested the mark in the final event of the night with a leadoff leg of 56.09 in the 400 medley relay, tying her career-best performance originally established at last year's C-USA Championship to remain No. 2 individually and No. 9 overall in Tulane history in the event.
She was one of three Tulane swimmers to make the finals in the 100 back as junior Vanessa Loewen and Needham both posted career-best outings to finish 12th (56.73) and 13th (56.82), respectively. Freshman Jonna Frantz also established a career-best performance in the event with a preliminary time of 59.39.
Loewen added a second career-best in the 100 fly to 16th overall with a 56.43 and post the No. 6 individual time in Tulane history. Sophomore Rachel Schneider led the Green Wave in the 200 free with a season-best preliminary mark of 1:54.75.
"That relay team was an inspiration tonight," Robinson added. "Before the race, we went through what everyone needed to do to be among the best in the conference. They all were hungry for it, which showed in their racing. I am so proud of these women and can't wait to see what's in store tomorrow. We need to have a sharp morning to set us up well for our final session tomorrow night. It will be an exciting run to see if we can catch a fifth-place team finish."
The 2014 Conference USA Championship meet concludes on Saturday with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay and platform diving. Preliminaries will once again begin at 9 a.m. with the finals slated to start at 5 p.m.