SAN ANTONIO — Incarnate Word’s Casey Hurrell-Zitelman gave the Cardinals another title Friday night at the NCAA Division II National Swimming and Diving Championships and in the process gave herself a hat trick.
In the night’s first event Hurrell-Zitelman won the 500 freestyle going away as her time of 4:47.21 was 3.69 seconds faster than the nearest competitor. Two days earlier also swimming first, she won the 1,000 freestyle and on Thursday she captured the crown in the 400 individual medley in the initial event of the night.
“Casey is awesome,” UIW Coach Phillip Davis said. “We keep challenging her and she keeps stepping up. There is nothing swimmers like better than breaking their personal bests. When you are on like she is it is like a snowball. I expect fireworks tomorrow.”
In Saturday’s concluding session she will go for four titles by swimming the 1,650 freestyle. This one, however, is not first but last. Those 20 victory points combined with her leadoff leg on the 800 freestyle relay team which finished second (a UIW school record 4:47.21) propelled the Cardinals into sixth place in the team standings with 176 points. Defending champion Drury of Missouri leads the field with 363 points.
Molly Freeman was seventh in the 500 free and anchored the second place 800 free relay that included Tamiris Nacimento, Julia Cardenas with Molly Freeman at anchor. In the 500 free, Freeman entered the water in the eighth and final position and she managed to end the event in seventh in 5:00.48.
UIW also got point production from Lesley Murray who finished the 200-yard butterfly in 2:04.13. While that swim did not put Murray on the awards platform it did provide another important four team points.
Another Incarnate Word school mark was set by Joy Turner with her 57.44 for the 100-backstroke during the preliminary round.