Feb. 20, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Wisconsin women’s swimming and diving team punched its first ticket to the NCAA championships Wednesday in the opening evening of the 2013 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis.
The 200-yard medley relay team of senior Ruby Martin
, freshman Anna Meinholz
, junior Rebecka Palm
and sophomore Ivy Martin
finished with a time of 1:37.98. The NCAA “A” qualifying time bested the Badgers’ previous low in the event this season of 1:39.92.
“Job well done right there,” UW head coach Whitney Hite
said of the qualifying time. “We needed to get that ‘A’ time and we got that ‘A’ time. They did a very nice job. It’s the first swim of a long meet, and we’ll be better.”
An NCAA “A” time automatically qualifies a competitor for the NCAA meet. Minnesota took the title in the event with a time of 1:36.89. Third-place Michigan finished with a time of 1:37.84, just .14 seconds ahead of the Badgers.
“If you look at the relays, a half a second in the 200 medley relays and we’re second,” Hite said. “And that’s a huge points swing right there. That means that we would be in third right now.”
As it is, the Badgers stand in sixth place with three days of competition remaining, 20 points behind leaders Minnesota and Indiana. Both the Gophers and Hoosiers racked up 74 points in the first session.
In the only other event of the night, the Badgers placed fifth in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:10.988, an NCAA “B” qualifying time. The team of Palm, sophomore Aja Van Hout
, senior Laura Miller
, and sophomore Ally Loper
bested the team’s previous low time in the event by nearly eight seconds.
“The 800 free relay, I thought, was really good,” Hite said. “I thought that they did a great job of fighting all the way through. They came from behind. It wasn’t a perfect swim, but we did a heck of a job. I’m proud of the ladies for the way they fought from start to finish.”
An NCAA “B” time qualifies a competitor for consideration to compete at the NCAA meet. Indiana won the event with a time of 6:59.48.