COLLEGE STATION -- The Big 12 champion Texas A&M women¹s swimming & diving team won its third Big 12 Relays in four years with a second consecutive sweep of the swimming relays in Ames, Iowa, on Friday.
The Aggies set a new team record for points at the meet by outscoring the University of Texas 117-88. The old record of 115 came in last year¹s first place finish in Lincoln, Neb.
³After sweeping all the races last year, I felt like we had chance to do it
again,² A&M head coach Steve Bultman said. ³There were a handful of races
where we had to come from behind to win but the girls came through each time
and did a great job.²
A&M hit the pedal from the start and didn¹t let up all day, winning 14 of
the 16 relays by more than a full second. Despite the overwhelming number of
victories, Texas did give A&M several tests during the day.
The 200 freestyle relay group of Alia Atkinson (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Codie
Hansen (Arlington), Sarah Woods (Birmingham, Ala.), and Triin Aljand
(Tallinn, Estonia) raced past the Longhorns on Aljand¹s impressive early
season 22.74 anchor leg to earn the win in 1:34.71.
Ten-time All-American Christine Marshall (Newport News, Va.) went by Texas¹
Alison Soelter on the final leg of the 150-yard fly relay to earn A&M the
win in the 12th race of the day.
The 3 x 500 freestyle relay was also a tight battle. Big 12 Swimmer of the
Year Kristen Heiss (Casper, Wyo.) clocked a 4:54.11 on the third and final
leg to catch Texas senior Delia Huang. A&M topped Texas in the longest race
of the day, 14:53.14 to 14:58.43.
World champion 200 IM finalist Julia Wilkinson (Stratford, Ont.) erased a
1.5 second deficit in the 4 x 100-yard IM relay with a blazing anchor leg of
57.02 to give A&M the win in 3:56.04. Wilkinson also came to the rescue in
the 200-400-200 IM relay, getting the Aggies the lead on the breaststroke
portion of her anchor leg and hitting the wall approximately a
second-and-a-half ahead of Texas¹ Alison Soelter.
A&M¹s 400 freestyle relay group of Hansen, Melissa Hain (Kingwood),
Wilkinson, and Marshall earned an NCAA consideration time of 3:23.92. Among
those earning individual ŒB¹ cut qualifying standards were Aljand, 100 fly,
55.08; Atkinson, 100 breast, 1:02.87, and Wilkinson, 100 back, 55.91.
³Overall, I was pleased,² Bultman said. ³We had some great swims for the
first meet of the year. There are things we need to get better on but that¹s
why we swim these meets -- to see where we¹re at and what we need to work
The Aggies will face both host Iowa State and Missouri in dual meets at
Gabrielsen Natatorium on Saturday at 10 a.m. before returning home later in