Kukors Takes Second in 200 IM at National Championships
March 20, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Freshman Ariana Kukors took second place in the 200 individual medley and the Washington Huskies sit in 16th place after day one at the NCAA Women's Swimming Championships at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the campus of Ohio State University.
Kukors, who trains with the King Aquatic Club, swam a school-record time of 1:55.26 in taking second behind Auburn's Ava Ohlgren, who set a new pool record with a time of 1:53.94. Kukors older sister Emily, who is a senior at Auburn, finished in third place with a time of 1:55.28.
'She had a tremendous swim today,' said UW head coach Whitney Hite. 'Again, all of the credit goes to her club coach Sean Hutchison.'
Kukors, who was in lane three, was pleased with her effort and said she just tried to get her hand on the wall at the finish line before her sister, who was in lane two.
'I'm happy with the finish,' said Kukors. 'I'll take a school-best time any day. It was exciting being next to my sister and I was just trying to get us as many points as possible.'
Kukors finish gave the Huskies 17 points and they picked up 10 more points when their 400 medley relay team placed 12th in a school-record time of 3:37.24. Kukors teamed with Genevieve Patterson, Erin Campbell and Kim Jasmer in the event.
'We had a goal of placing and scoring points,' said Kukors. 'We did that and it was great for some of the girls to get to swim in the finals and gain that experience. It was a team effort.'
Washington's 200 freestyle relay team of Emilee Jennings, Lindsey Sharp, Campbell and Jasmer set a school record with a time of 1:30.70, but failed to qualify for the finals after taking 17th in the preliminaries.
'It was a good first day and good to get a lot of first-timers opportunities to swim at nationals,' said Hite, referring to seven of the eight Huskies who were making their first appearance at nationals. Only Jasmer had swum at the NCAA Championships before, and that came last year when she single-handedly led the UW to a 35th place finish.
'Some of the girls were a little nervous and we had a few bumps, but overall we had a very good day. To score 27 points and be in sixteenth place it shows we have come a long ways.'
Kukors will swim in the 400 IM tomorrow, and enters the event as the No. 1 seed with a time of 4:04.68.
Arizona is in first place in the team standings with 151 points, while Auburn is in second with 132 points and California is in third with 89 points.