COLUMBIA, MO -- The Texas A&M women’s swimming and diving team made some noise on the first day of the Aggies’ final Big 12 Championships on Wednesday at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
In the first race of the four-day competition, the Aggies destroyed their school record in the 200-yard medley relay, taking down the meet record and the overall Big 12 record in the process. The foursome of junior Tess Simpson, sophomore Breeja Larson, sophomore Paige Miller and sophomore Erica Dittmer touched the wall in 1:36.02 to break the old school, conference and meet record of 1:36.62 set by A&M’s 2011 edition. The time was also an NCAA “A” cut which guarantees the foursome a spot at the national championships.
“Any time we can break the school, meet and conference record by six-tenths of a second, that’s pretty impressive,” Aggie head coach Steve Bultman said. “It was a great way to start the meet off. They were solid all the way through. Obviously Breeja and Paige were really good, but it was really good leadoff split for Tess and a good anchor for Erica. I think we can even still go faster.”
The Aggies also shined with a runner-up finish in the 800 free relay with the foursome of junior Maureen McLaine, freshman Kelli Benjamin, freshman Ellen Quirke and senior Megan Latone turning in a NCAA “B” cut time of 7:07.35.
“We had three brand-new girls on that relay, and I thought they were all very solid,” Bultman said. “We would have liked to have been a little bit faster, but it was a good swim and we’ll take that.”
After day one’s two races, the Aggies hold a slim two-point lead over Texas in the team standings 74-72, and the two rivals were trailed by Missouri (66), Kansas (60) and Iowa State (56).