COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Four members of the Big 12 champion Texas A&M women’s swimming & diving team earned wins at the 2007 Gulf Senior Championships held at the Student Rec Center Natatorium over the weekend.
“We used this as an opportunity to race to help break up our long gap between collegiate competitions,” A&M head coach Steve Bultman said. “We told all the girls to pick one day or session that they would like to compete in. A few chose to swim finals just to see how they would do in meters. I was pretty pleased with how well everyone swam.”
Big 12 Swimmer of the Year Kristen Heiss (Casper, Wyo.) earned first place in the 400-yard individual medley, an event she rarely swims during the collegiate season. Heiss clocked a time of 4:26.68 (short course yards) during morning prelims. She won the event Friday evening by hitting the wall in 4:58.56 (long course meters). Heiss also finished second in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:05.30.
On Saturday night, reigning Big 12 Swimmer of the Week Julia Wilkinson (Stratford, Ont.) won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:03.70. Wilkinson was the top qualifier during the morning session, recording a time of 56.32.
Also on Saturday, sophomore Sarah Woods (Birmingham, Ala.) captured first place in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.74. Woods qualified for the final by swimming a time of 23.78 during prelims. Julia Wilkinson was the top 50 free qualifier, finishing in 23.37, but elected to only swim the 100 back final Saturday night.
Freshman Melanie Dodds (Maple Ridge, B.C.), the only Aggie to compete on Sunday, won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:22.16. Dodds was also the top qualifier in the morning, recording a time of 2:05.38.
The Aggies are officially done competing for the 2007 calendar year. A&M will compete against Gettysburg College at 9 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2008 during their winter training trip in Barbados scheduled from Dec. 31 to Jan. 8.