COLLEGE STATION -- The eighth-ranked Texas A&M women’s swimming & diving team cruised to a 153-88 win over No. 18 Penn State at the Student Rec Center Natatorium on Friday night.
The Aggies won nine of 13 events, including both relays, and turned in seven NCAA consideration times and one zone diving qualifying performance.
Olympian Triin Aljand (Tallinn, Estonia) set the pool on fire with the fastest 50-yard freestyle in the 14-year history of the Student Rec Center Natatorium. Aljand, who entered the meet as the national leader in the 50 free, lowered her seasonal best time from 22.65 to 22.50, surpassing the old pool record of 22.52 set by Sarah Wanezek of Texas at the 2005 Big 12 Championships.
Aljand, one of two Aggies to win a pair of individual events, also took the top spot in the 100-yard freestyle. Aljand led a 1-2-3 A&M finish by hitting the wall in 50.06.
U.S. Olympian Christine Marshall (Newport News, Va.) exemplified why she is one of the top freestylers in the country in taking first place in both the 200 and 500-yard freestyles. Marshall and Codie Hansen (Arlington) swam NCAA consideration times of 1:47.59 and 1:47.70 to finish 1-2 in the 200 free and rank No. 3 and 4 in the country. Marshall went on to record the fastest time in the country in an event she rarely contested until this season. The Olympic bronze medalist swam a time of 4:47.81 in the 500-yard freestyle, her second NCAA consideration time of the day.
Junior Alia Atkinson (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) continued to improve in the 200-yard breaststroke, recording a first-place finish of 2:13.32. Atkinson ranks second nationally behind only Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni of USC.
The Aggies set NCAA consideration times in both of their winning relay performances. The 400-yard medley relay of Emily Neal (Plano), Alia Atkinson, Triin Aljand, and Sarah Woods (Birmingham, Ala.) started the meet off with the third-fastest time in the nation at 3:40.77. The group of Codie Hansen, Marissa Jasek (San Antonio), Melissa Hain (Kingwood), and Christine Marshall capped off the Aggie victory with a 400 freestyle relay win in 3:21.50 which ranks them fifth nationally.
Sophomore diver Emily Watson (Frisco) earned the first win of her collegiate career with a zone-qualifying performance of 277.57 on the one-meter springboard.
After completing a busy October schedule, the Aggies will spend the next three weeks preparing for the Art Adamson Invitational to be held in College Station on Nov. 21-23.