AUBURN, Ala. --- The Texas A&M women’s swimming and diving team earned its sixth straight top 10 finish on Saturday at the NCAA Championships at Auburn University.
Receiving contributions from up and down its NCAA roster, A&M scored 262 points to place sixth in the team standings. California scored 412.5 points to earn its third team title in four seasons and the Bears were trailed by Georgia (366), USC (325.5), Stanford (318), Arizona (299), Texas A&M, Tennessee (249), Auburn (249), Texas (201) and Florida (160) among the top 10 teams. While it was A&M’s sixth straight top 10 effort, it was also the Aggies’ sixth top 10 finish in program history.
After the meet, senior Jaele Patrick was named the Diver of the Meet on the strength of her win on the three-meter board and runner-up finish on the one meter. Aggie diving coach Jay Lerew was named Diving Coach of the Meet after Patrick’s two strong finishes and senior Janie Potvin’s sixth- and ninth-place efforts. It was A&M’s first-ever national awards at the NCAA meet.
The Aggies got the scoring early on Saturday with Potvin in the platform dive. The senior from Canada had to rally in the prelims to even reach the finals, but dominated the consolation final with a score of 339.5 to outdistance the field by nearly 45 points.
Also getting an early start was sophomore Ashley Adams, who posted a lifetime best of 16:12.21 in the afternoon heats and then had to wait to find out that she had placed 13th.
In the first race of the evening Maureen McLaine posted the second sub-16-minute mile in school history while placing seventh in a time of 15:57.08, which was just off her A&M record of 15:56.15 from last fall. The junior from Plano, Texas covered the first 1,000 yards in 9:38.22 to break her school record of 9:38.95.
Last night’s NCAA Champion Breeja Larson kept the scoring going for the Aggies with a third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke. The sophomore from Mesa, Arizona touched the wall in a time of 2:07.44 behind Cal’s Caitlyn Leverenz and last year’s NCAA Champion Haley Spencer of Minnesota.
Cammile Adams finished second for the second straight season to USC senior Katinka Hosszu. The sophomore from Houston broke her own school record with a time of 1:52.40, but she couldn’t catch Hosszu, who touched the wall in 1:51.32. The Aggies scored 36 points in the 200 fly with sophomore Caroline McElhany taking sixth in 1:55.23 and senior Rita Medrano finishing 11th in 1:55.75.
Highlights of the Aggies’ 2012 NCAA Championships include the individual national crowns by Larson (100-yard breaststroke) and Patrick (three-meter dive). Larson’s win came in record-setting fashion as she broke the American, U.S. Open and NCAA record with a time of 57.71. It was the first American record ever by an A&M swimmer. Patrick’s win was the first by an A&M diver in program history.
Other highlights include NCAA runner-up efforts by Patrick (one-meter dive), sophomore Cammile Adams (200-yard butterfly). During the Championships, the Aggies broke school records in the 200- and 400-yard medley relays and individually in the 100 backstroke (Paige Miller), the 100 breast (Larson) and the 1,000 freestyle (McLaine)