Florida prepping for championships
Notes: Princeton named Mid-Major Dual Meet Champions
Florida opens defense of its NCAA Division I Team Championship this week in Austin, Texas, at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. The Lady Gators have qualified 13 swimmers to the meet and are one of 13 teams with 10 or more swimmers participating at the meet, which will run March 17-19.
Other teams qualifying double-figure swimmers include Arizona (11), Auburn (11), California (13), Georgia (14), Indiana (13), Minnesota (12), Southern California (13), Tennessee (11), Texas (11), Texas A&M (15), North Carolina (10) and Virginia (11). More than 280 swimmers and 40 divers are scheduled to compete in Austin this weekend.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship has featured a different team champion in each of the last four years. Florida took home the 2010 title, preceded by California (2009), Arizona (2008) and Auburn (2007). Host school Texas holds seven women’s swimming and diving team titles, most recently earning top honors in 1991. Stanford has eight titles, winning most recently in 1998. The Southeastern Conference has dominated in recent years, capturing 10 of the last 12 titles. Georgia dominated from 1999-2001 with a fourth title in 2005, with Auburn capturing five of six team wins from 2002-07.
Need to Know
• Drury won a third consecutive women’s NCAA Division II Team Championship last weekend in San Antonio, Texas, as the Panthers won their third title in a row and fourth in the last five years. Drury’s team of Li Tao, Ekaterina Alyabyeva, Tiffany Van Dongen and Kelsey Ward set an NCAA Division II national record time to win the last event of the meet, the 400 free relay, to clinch the title. Drury finished with 483.5 points, ahead of Wayne State (388), UC San Diego (338), Clarion (272) and Ashland (240) to round out the top five.
• Princeton was named the women’s swimming and diving CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Dual Meet Champions for a second consecutive season. The Tigers finished first in the rankings ahead of Towson, Miami (Ohio), James Madison and Harvard to round out the women’s top-5.
• Incarnate Word senior Cassie Hurrell-Zitelman won four events at the Division II Championship, including the 1000 free (9:52.60), 400 IM (4:14.00), 500 free (4:47.21) and1650 free (16:37.29). She became just the 13th student-athlete in the 30-year history of the NCAA Division II Women’s Championship to win four events. Swimming in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, Hurrell-Zitelman won the leadoff race of each evening of the Championship en route to earning Division II Female Swimmer of the Year honors. She was the meet’s top point-producer with 80 points and became the first individual women’s national champion in Incarnate Word history.