Dec. 4, 2008
ATLANTA – Four school records and six NCAA “B” cut qualifying times highlighted today’s first day of action for the Georgia Tech swimming teams at the 2008 ConocoPhillips Short Course National Championships held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
Mauricio Sousa set a new school record in the 50-free, while both the men’s and women’s 200-free relay teams established new school bests. In addition, the women’s 400-medley relay team set a new school record.
“This was a great day for us against some of the best competition in the United States,” head coach Stu Wilson said. “I am very pleased with how we started the meet, but we are not done yet. We need to keep up this intensity as we go through the weekend and continue our preparations for the ACC meet.”
The first event of the meet was the 200-free relay and both the Georgia Tech men’s and women’s teams set new school records. The men’s squad of Mauricio Sousa, Nigel Plummer, Sullivan Lynch and Garrett Robberson finished second in finals with a time of 1:19.24 and were just .11 seconds behind first-place Michigan. They improved from their third-place time of 1:20.18 in prelims. The 1:19.24 is a new school record, eclipsing the mark of 1:20.20 set last season, as well as a NCAA “B” cut.
On the women’s side, Keren Siebner, Jessie Mason, Heidi Hatteberg and Agatha Kwasnik established a new school record with a time of 1:33.57. That was good for seventh-place in finals and a NCAA “B” cut as well. The previous school record was set in 2004. In prelims, Siebner, Mason, Kwasnik and Lisa Pucci were eighth with a mark of 1:34.08 to earn their spot in the evening finals.
The 500-free saw Noah Copeland swim a NCAA “B”: cut time of 4:26.86. It was good enough for 20th and a spot in the third finals race, but he was scratched. Jordan Evans swam the third-fastest time in school history for the 200-IM as she finished in 2:04.31.
The 50-free was another successful race for the Yellow Jacket swimmers. Kwasnik was 24th in both prelims (23.21) and finals (23.42) as she was able to establish a NCAA “B” cut qualifying time. Mason (23.47), Siebner (23.74), Hatteberg (23.95) and Christine Chuang (23.99) also swam well for the Yellow Jackets.
On the men’s side, Sousa broke his own record by .21 seconds in the 50-free as he registered a time of 19.78 in both the preliminary and final swims. He was ninth in prelims, just missing a spot in the finals race, as he settled for an 11th-place overall finish. It was also a NCAA “B” cut qualifying time. Plummer, who swam a 20.45 in prelims, just missed earning a spot in the evening’s final. Lynch (20.72), Copeland (20.86) and Johnny Hagaman (21.15) all had great swims as well.
The final event of day one was the 400-medley relay. The men’s team of Ilia Ayzenshtok, Mickey Malul, Travis Wagner and Robberson finished ninth in a time of 3:15.54. It is the second-best mark in school history and a NCAA “B” cut. The second Tech team consisting of Hagaman, Jeremy Jackson, Lynch and Sousa were just a couple spots behind as their time of 3:18.28 was 12th.
The women’s 400-medley relay team of Hatteberg, Pucci, Erin O’Donnell and Kwasnik placed 13th with a time of 3:46.68, good for another school record and a solid way to close out the night for the Yellow Jackets.
Action continues through Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. On Friday, Dec. 5, the 200-medley relay, 400-IM, 100-fly, 200-free, 100-breast, 100-back and 800-free relay events will take place, while the final day of action includes the 1650-free, 200-back, 100-free, 200-breast, 200-fly and 400-free relay. For links to live stats, video and updated heat sheets, please visit the U.S. Short Course Nationals link on www.ramblinwteck.com.