Twelve British ladies were in action at the Women’s NCAA Division 1 Championships which took place a little over a week ago in Atlanta. The event was held in the 1996 Olympic pol, now re-christened as the McCauley Aquatic Centre.
The overall title was won by Georgia, who counted Plymouth Leander’s Shauna Lee amongst their number. Lee swam both the 100y and 200y freestyle events, with a high finish of 24th in the longer event.
The most successful British swimmer by finals swum was Virginia’s Ellen Thomas who raced on the 200y freestyle relay which finished 6th, and anchored the 400y medley relay team to a third placed finish with the third best split in the race. She added a 4th placed finish with the fly leg of the 200y medley relay and a 6th place in the 200y freestyle team. Her relay commitments were rounded out with second in the B final of the 400y freestyle team. Individually, Thomas’s best result was in the 50y free where she missed the B final by less than 0.1s. She also swam the 100 free and 100 fly to complete a busy programme.
Britain was generally well represented in the relay events. In addition to Thomas’ exploits, Fiona Donnelly swam the 800 free team for Virginia Tech, an event which also saw Rebecca Murray and Emma Saunders take to the water for Nevada and Alabama respectively. Saunders, in her last year of eligibility, also anchored the 400 medley relay to 5th in the B final, while individually she swam the 200 free and the 100 and 200 back. Danielle Stirrat led off the Louisiana quartet and also swam the 400 medley and freestyle relays, along with the 200 free and 200 back individually. The best 800 relay result, though, came from Grace Vertigans who swam on the 8th placed Indiana team. Vertigans also swam the prelims of the 200 medley relay and swam on the 400 medley relay squad.
Florida’s 800 freestyle team had two Brits on board with Jessica Thielmann and Amelia Maughan helping them to 9th place overall. After a very successful meet last year, Thielmann struggled a little this year, with 11th in the 1650y free her best result – an event she was third in last year. It’s likely her training has been focussed around Olympic trials in just a few weeks, and hence her taper may not have been 100% geared towards this meet. The same could be said of Maughan, who was off her best in the freestyle events, but was part of the 400 freestyle team that swam to 6th in the B final. Both ladies will be hoping to secure spots in Ruo, perhaps on the 4×200 freestyle relay.
Their Florida teammate Georgia Hohmann competed in the 200y and 400y IM and swam the 200 back, while Katie Latham from further down the state at Florida Gulf Coast, just missed the B final of the 50y free as well as swimming the 100 backstroke and freestyle.
Rounding out the dozen was Bella Hindley, who was one of only 3 Yale swimmers to make the NCAA cut and in her freshman year. She swam the 50 and 100 free.
Full results are available here
Banner image: Georgia Tech