Heiss, 400 Free Relay Set Ohio State Pool Records in NCAA Day Three Prelims

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COLUMBUS, OH -- Texas A&M junior Kristen Heiss (Casper, Wyo.) and the Aggie 400-yard freestyle relay team both broke the Ohio State pool records during preliminary action on day three at the 2008 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.

Heiss enters tonight as the top qualifier in the 200-yard backstroke after setting a new all-time Big 12 and Texas A&M school record time of 1:53.37. Heiss finished fifth a year ago at the NCAA meet.

The A&M 400 free relay team of Julia Wilkinson (Stratford, Ont.), Codie Hansen (Arlington), Sarah Woods (Birmingham, Ala.), and Triin Aljand (Tallinn, Estonia) held off California, who the Aggies are battling along with Stanford for third place in the team standings, to swim the fastest qualifying time in the field at 3:14.54. Cal finished a fingernail behind A&M in the second heat at 3:14.55. The Aggies’ time set a new school record by exactly a full second, eclipsing the time of 3:15.55 set in their Big 12 championship win on Mar. 1

Sophomore Alia Atkinson (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) set new all-time Big 12 and A&M records during the sixth of seven heats of the 100-yard breaststroke. Atkinson’s time of 2:10.05 ranks her in third place heading into tonight’s championship final.

Junior Julia Wilkinson swam the third-fastest qualifying time during the prelims of the 100-yard freestyle at 48.19. Teammate Triin Aljand (Tallinn, Estonia) qualified for the consolation finals with a career best swim of 48.62. Both Aggies’ strong efforts earned each spots in the evening finals of the 100 free at NCAA’s for the first time.

Junior Christine Marshall (Newport News, Va.) just missed qualifying for the 200-yard butterfly final after an 18th-place finish. Marshall’s time of 1:57.98 is the second-fastest of her career.

The sixth and final session of the 2008 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

200-Yard Backstroke – Preliminaries

1. Kristen Heiss, 1:53.37*#!

17. Emily Neal, 1:56.77

100-Yard Freestyle – Preliminaries

3. Julia Wilkinson, 48.19

12. Triin Aljand, 48.62

37. Codie Hansen, 49.51

43. Sarah Woods, 49.80

50. Marissa Jasek, 50.01

200-Yard Breaststroke – Preliminaries

3. Alia Atkinson, 2:10.05*#

200-Yard Butterfly – Preliminaries

18. Christine Marshall, 1:57.98

400-Yard Freestyle Relay -- Preliminaries

1. (Julia Wilkinson, Codie Hansen, Sarah Woods, Triin Aljand), 3:14.55

* - Texas A&M School Record

# - All-time Big 12 Record

! – Ohio State Pool Record

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