COLLEGE STATION—The No. 8 Texas A&M women’s swimming & diving team sits in second place through the second day of competition at the Art Adamson Invitational held at the Student Rec Center Natatorium.
No. 6 California leads A&M, 696-652, with No. 17 Michigan in third with 453 points. Fourth is No. 16 SMU with 361 points followed by LSU (255), Purdue (255), and Washington (137), who began competing at the meet on Saturday. The Aggies did manage to win the most events of any school on Saturday night, grabbing victories in four of the evening’s seven races.
Aggie Olympian Triin Aljand (Tallin, Estonia) responded admirably from a disappointing chain of events on Friday night to become the fourth-fastest performer in NCAA history in the 100-yard butterfly. Aljand set an all-time A&M, and Student Rec Center Natatorium, record of 51.32 – this time in a properly-sized pool -- to win her second individual event of the weekend. Aljand later swam an NCAA consideration mark of 54.58 in the 100-yard backstroke, winning the consolation final in an event she very rarely contests.
The Aggies got out of the gate fast on Saturday night, winning each of the first three races. The A&M 200-yard medley relay team of Megan Latone (Austin), Alia Atkinson (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Aljand, and Marissa Jasek (San Antonio) began the three-event win streak by clocking a nation-leading time of 1:39.23. The relay was bolstered by a 27.82 breaststroke split by Atkinson and a 22.94 butterfly split from Aljand.
Things got even better for the Aggies in the first individual event as they earned a 1-2-3 finish in the 400-yard individual medley with all three swimmers recording NCAA consideration times. Two-time Big 12 champion Melissa Hain (Kingwood) hit the wall first in 4:13.07, followed by junior Emily Neal (Plano), 4:14.72; and Melanie Dodds (Maple Ridge, B.C.), who swam a lifetime-best of 4:15.96. Sophomore Casey Hurrell-Zitelman (San Antonio) won the consolation final in a lifetime-best and NCAA consideration time of 4:16.44.
The Aggies had three swimmers record NCAA consideration times in arguably the deepest field in the women’s meet, the 200-yard freestyle. Senior Olympian Christine Marshall (Newport News, Va.) was A&M’s top finisher, taking third place in a season-best time of 1:46.52. Fellow senior Marissa Jasek took fifth in 1:48.12 while another senior, Codie Hansen (Arlington), won the consolation final in 1:46.60.
Olympian junior Alia Atkinson kept her seasonal breaststroke record perfect with a win at the 100-yard distance. Atkinson clocked a season-best, and NCAA consideration, time of 1:01.22 to grab the win. Junior Renee Iserman (Spring) finished eighth in 1:05.92 after setting a lifetime-best of 1:03.24 during prelims.
Junior diver Haley Haynes (The Woodlands) earned a fifth-place finish on the one-meter springboard, recording a score of 257.20. Haynes qualified for finals with a prelim score of 263.65.
A&M closed the night with a fourth-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The group of Alia Atkinson, Codie Hansen, Marissa Jasek, and Christine Marshall swam the fourth-fastest time in the country, hitting the wall in 7:13.79.
The final day of action at the Art Adamson Invitational is scheduled to begin at 9:30 with preliminary heats. Finals are slated for 4:30 p.m. The platform diving event will begin at 1 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
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