Ag Swimmers Win Duals

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AMES, Iowa‹One day after a second consecutive sweep of swimming events at the Big 12 Relays, the Big 12 champion Texas A&M women¹s swimming & diving team rolled to dual meet wins over host Iowa State and Missouri at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

The Aggies recorded 231-69 and 189-111 wins over the Cyclones and Tigers, respectively, to start their dual meet season at 2-0. A&M Head Coach Steve Bultman was informed Saturday that the Aggies broke seven pool records on Friday, then proceeded to lead his team towards two more (200 back, 200 IM) on Saturday morning.

³It was really exciting to hear we had broken all those pool records
yesterday and to pick up two more today was just icing on the cake,² Bultman said. ³It¹s always nice to do something like that especially in a pool that has been around for 40 years or so.²

A&M won 12 of 14 swimming events to cruise to its fifth-straight win over Missouri and move its all-time record against Iowa State to 3-0.

Juniors Triin Aljand (Tallinn, Estonia) and Julia Wilkinson (Stratford,
Ont.) both won a pair of races for the Aggies. Aljand led a 1-2-3-4 A&M
finish in the 50 free in 23.72 while hitting the wall first in the 100 fly
(56.66) as well. Wilkinson did a number on the 200 IM field by winning in an NCAA consideration and pool record time of 2:03.89, nearly three-and-a-half seconds ahead of second place finisher Colleen Gordon of Missouri. She also led a 1-2 A&M finish in the 100 back, clocking a time of 56.18.

A&M¹s freshman class made some noise in the first collegiate dual meet of their careers. Casey Hurrell-Zitelman (San Antonio) cranked out a five-plus second victory in the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:14.33) while finishing second in the 500 free (5:02.34). Melanie Dodds (Maple Ridge, B.C.) edged out sophomore Melissa Hain (Kingwood) in the 200 fly, 2:07.00 to 2:07.07, as well.

Big 12 Swimmer of the Year Kristen Heiss (Casper, Wyo) swam her way to a near-2.5 second win in the 200 backstroke with a 2:01.49 to 2:03.94 win over Missouri¹s Lauren Lavigna. Heiss set the Gabrielsen Natatorium record in earning the win.

In a battle of multi-time junior All-Americans, Christine Marshall (Newport
News, Va.) just held off teammate Codie Hansen (Arlington) for a win in the 200-yard freestyle. Marshall clocked a time of 1:51.37 to hold off the closing Hansen who finished right behind her in 1:51.49.

Junior Marissa Jasek (San Antonio) and sophomore Sarah Woods (Birmingham, Ala.) finished in a tie for first in the 100 free at 52.44 as the Aggies finished 1-2-3-4 for the second race in a row (50 free).

Sophomore Alia Atkinson (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) rebounded from a close loss in the 100 breast to storm to a three-plus second win in the 200 breast. Atkinson finished first in 2:18.94.

The Aggies bookended the meet with wins in both relays. The group of
Wilkinson, Atkinson, Aljand, and Hansen captured the 200-yard medley relay in 1:45.03 while Aljand, Megan Rains (Puyallup, Wash.), Ella Doerge (Clive, Iowa), and Chelsea Helgason (Olympia, Wash.) were first in the 200 free relay in 1:36.36.

³To come back this morning and get ready to race after a long day yesterday isn¹t easy,² Bultman said. ³We didn¹t swim as well as we¹re capable of even though we did a lot of racing over the last two days. We¹ve got to get our girls used to that by doing back-to-back meets because that¹s what things will be like at conference and NCAA¹s. I was pleased with how they got up raced. If they continue to do that, the times will come later on in the season.²

The Aggies will be back in action this Friday and Saturday at the SMU
Invitational in Dallas. The Aggies will also face Northern Arizona and North Texas in dual meets on Saturday as well.