March 22, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Building off an impressive first day at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, the Badgers added another 12 points with a ninth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay Friday in Indianapolis.
With one day of competition left to go, Wisconsin stands in 14thplace at 55 points. The Badgers are the third-highest scoring team in the Big Ten at the Championships, behind just Indiana and Minnesota.
“I’m really proud of the way the girls competed tonight,” Head Coach Whitney Hite said. “They fought hard for Wisconsin.”
The 200-yard medley relay team of senior Ruby Martin, freshman Anna Meinholz, junior Rebecka Palm and sophomore Ivy Martin swam to a time of 1:37.26—the team’s fastest pace this season and the seventh-fastest in school history.
“The medley relay was awesome,” Hite said. “We weren’t supposed to score any points in that. I thought we did a really nice job of racing. We were faster than we were in the morning. There aren’t a lot of teams that are swimming faster and we’re one of them.”
Ruby Martin set a strong pace for the relay team with a blistering 24.37 in the 50-yard backstroke to open the event.
“Ruby has been an all-star,” Hite said. “She had been simply outstanding this entire meet. Had the third-fastest split of anybody in the pool. She had a great 200-free split. I feel so great for her—for our seniors to go out on a high note.”
The school record for the 200-yard medley relay stands at 1:35.71, set in 2011. Tennessee won the 2013 title with a time of 1:34.95.
The Badgers also grabbed a top-20 finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:10.35, good for 17th place. Palm, sophomore Aja Van Hout, Ruby Martin and senior Hannah Ross contributed for the top time in the event for the team this year.Georgia took the title with a time of 6:54.43.
“We just missed out on scoring some more points,” Hite said. “But we certainly gave it our all and we really had some positive things coming out of that race.”
Meanwhile, Ross competed in the first of her two events at the championships, finishing 46th in the 100-yard backstroke preliminaries with a time of 54.51. Rachel Bootsma of California won the event at 50.13.
The Badgers will swim in three final events Saturday. Martin will compete in the 100-yard freestyle, Ross will swim in her marquee event – the 200-yard backstroke – and Wisconsin will send its 400-yard freestyle relay team to the pool.
“We’re just going fight for some points tomorrow,” Hite said. “And we’re just going to be Badgers—which are tough scrappy animals.”
Preliminary rounds begin Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT) while the finals to commence at 6 p.m. (CT).