March 20, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The female Gauchos opened up the first day of the women's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships with an exceptional start including two school record-breaking performances. Sophomore Anne Marie May proved to one the nation's best swimmers in the 50 free and the 400 medley relay team finished in the top-16 of the country. As of Thursday night, the Gauchos are tied with Hawaii for 20th place with 20 points.
The last time a Gaucho swimmer placed in the top eight at the NCAA Championships occurred in 1986 when Anne Patterson swam the 100 breast and Anne Marie May did not want that to continue. Thursday morning, May touched the wall at 22.15 qualifying for the finals, breaking her school record of 22.21. Later that night, she swam a 22.00 to come in third in the nation and only .14 of a second away from the second place swimmer, Michele King from Tennessee. The third place finish gives May her first All-American honor.
Coach Gregg Wilson called her performance, "the most significant individual performance for the program in my tenure as coach. She approached it like a veteran and had the swim of her life."
Junior Katy Freeman started off her NCAA experience in the 200 IM swimming a 2:02.88, good for 56th in the nation. Her time was five seconds faster than her time at the Big West Championships.
The 400 medley team of Naomi Javanifard, Sara Nicponski, Erin Yamamoto and May broke their own record in the prelims of the event. Their time of 3:39.24 gave them the last qualifying time for the finals and broke their previous Gaucho record of 3:41.03. In the finals, the team again broke the Gaucho record, clocking in at 3:38.57. The foursome earned Honorable Mention All-American status.
The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships continue Friday, March 21 with the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, and the 100 backstroke.