The University of Wisconsin swimming and diving team saved its best performance for last as it tallied three more NCAA qualifying times and broke two school records during the final day of competition at the Texas Invitational at the Texas Swimming Center.
After three days, the 11th-ranked womens team finished in third place with 603 points, while the No. 20 men took sixth with 323 points. Texas ended up winning both meets.
Earning automatic berths today to the NCAA championships were senior co-captain Carly Piper (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.), sophomore Susan Johnson (Toledo, Ohio) and junior Amalia Sarnecki (Ann Arbor, Mich.).
I thought we did a great job today, head coach Eric Hansen said. We responded really well to the adjustments we needed to make, and I couldnt be happier.
Piper set a positive tone for the Badgers in the first event, the 1650-yard freestyle, in which she cruised to victory in 16:06.61. That time crushed the NCAA A standard of 16:23.54 and was good enough to beat the other competitors by at least two laps.
Although her time of 1:56.99 in the preliminary round of the 200-yard back earned an NCAA bid, Johnson topped that mark in the finals with a winning time of 1:55.42, which broke her own school record of 1:55.93.
Sarnecki replicated Johnsons situation in the 200-yard breaststroke, as she recorded an A time of 2:13.46 in the prelims but edged that with a second-place, final-round time of 2:12.01, which cracked her own UW record of 2:12.37.
In all, Piper and Johnson finished the Invitational with three NCAA A times apiece while Sarnecki had two. Adam Mania (Hickman, Neb.) and Anna Trinidad (Colorado Springs, Colo.) both locked up berths on Thursday for 10 total qualifying times for Wisconsin.
Our seasoned veterans performed well over the weekend, Hansen said. We obviously didnt get all the standards that we wanted, but we still did a heck of a job.
Earlier in the day, divers Amanda Witte (LaGrange, Ill.), Cassie Kubly (Middleton, Wis.) and Justin Bonner (Ridley Park, Pa.) had top-10 finishes in the platform, as Witte took eighth (320.20 points), Kubly notched 10th (310.75) and Bonner ended up in ninth (256.30).
Amanda, Cassie and Justin had solid meets in the platform, diving coach Josh Seykora said. All were very good and consistent, and were on our way to getting to be where we want to be.
The Badgers will be off until they head to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Rainbow Classic Dec. 31 and a dual meet against the Warriors on Jan. 7, 2005.