Senior Grace Tarka and the Tulane swimming and diving team will open the 2013 Conference USA Championship on Wednesday.
Feb. 19, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's swimming and diving team will look to wrap up the 2012-13 season on a high note as the Green Wave will participate in the 2013 Conference USA Championships from Feb. 20-23 at the University of Houston's Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium.
The four-day event begins on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. with the 200 medley relay, followed by the 800 free relay. The final three days of the championship meet will follow the traditional format of preliminaries beginning at 10 a.m. with finals slated to begin each day at 6 p.m.
On Thursday, the participating teams will compete in the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and concludes with the 400 medley relay. From there, the teams will swim the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 200 free relay on Friday, before holding the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 1650 free on Saturday.
In addition, the preliminaries and semifinals of the three-meter springboard are slated for Thursday morning with the final scheduled for the evening. Friday, meanwhile, will feature the complete competition in the one-meter springboard with the platform scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.
During the year to date, Tulane posted a 3-7 record in dual-meet action with victories over Arkansas-Little Rock, Vanderbilt and Loyola Marymount. In their latest action, the Green Wave dropped head-to-head contests with league foes Houston and Rice, as well as host LSU, in Baton Rouge back on Jan. 25-26, but that quad meet came at a time when interim head coach T.J. Natal had his team training hard leading up to the completion.
This time around, the Green Wave will be well rested and will be looking to push not only for season top times and school records, but also NCAA-qualifying times to get Tulane student-athletes into the national championship meet.
This week's meet marks the seventh time Tulane will participate in the C-USA Championship. Back in 2004 - the original reincarnation of the Tulane swimming and diving program - the Green Wave finished fifth with 486 points. A year later, Tulane scored 729 points to edge TCU by 9.5 points for the C-USA title. After learning of the program's suspension in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the Green Wave program as down to just 10 swimmers and one diver but still finished fourth of five teams with 402.5 points.
Following a three-year layoff, Tulane's swimming and diving team returned and finished the 2010 C-USA Championship and posted 56 points in Day 1, 60 on Day 2, 71 on Day 3 and a team-high 90 on the final day of competition to finish fifth among six teams with 277 points. In 2011, Tulane was fifth with 313.5 points before scoring 195.5 points last season to finish sixth.
The 2013 C-USA Championship will mark a first for the Green Wave as Tulane fielded a four-class team for the first time since 1990. Headlining the team during the 2012 -13 campaign are seniors Kayla Alf-Huynh, Kristin Ates, Gisele Calderon, Erin Cunningham, Jillian Daleiden, Allie Evans, Kristine Gu, Rebekah Harris, Emily Needham, Lauren Pfohl, Grace Tarka and Elizabeth Whitaker.
Also taking the pool for Tulane in Houston will be juniors Cari Caprio, Caitlin Corcoran and Rachel Ranson, along with sophomores Rebecca Dugan, Morgan Evans, Molly Jubas, Vanessa Loewen, Amy Needham, Claire Schelske and Laura Turpen. Making their first trip to the C-USA Championship this year are freshmen Lauren Arnold, Elizabeth Cook, Holly Grender, Harley Jackson, Emily Josef, Maren Kjell, Anna Lewis Matson, Roni Meyer, Mia Schachter and Rachel Schneider.