Huskies Off To Strong Start At NCAA Championships

March 19, 2009


COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 24-ranked University of Washington women's swim team got off to a fast start at the 2009 NCAA Championships Thursday, breaking one school record and placing 24th in the standings after the first of three days at the Student Rec Center Natatorium.

The 400 medley relay team of Hannah Ross, Genevieve Patterson, Erin Campbell and Lindsey Sharp set a school record in the prelims then smashed that record in the finals en route to a 12th-place finish. After qualifying 12th in 3:34.16 to break the school record set at last month's Pac-10 Championships, the foursome then swam more than a second faster - 3:33.06 - to earn 10 points for the team.

Additionally, Ross' leadoff 100 back leg of the relay equaled her career-best of 53.21, the second-fastest time in school history behind Campbell.

'We had a good day, we were supposed to score about four points and we scored 10 so that's great news,' Washington head coach Whitney Hite said. 'The first day for us was a little slow but tomorrow is our big day and if we're going to end up in the top 15 then we have to make a move tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do but we're doing everything we can to make it happen. I couldn't be more proud of the girls tonight.'

Three Huskies competed as individuals Thursday, including freshman Danielle Gong and senior Genevieve Patterson in the 200 IM. Gong was the top Husky qualifier, finishing 43rd in the prelims in a personal-best time of 2:00.39, which improves her fifth-best time in UW history. Her 100 back split time of 55.22 was also a career-best and moved her up to No. 5 all time in that event as well.

Patterson was right behind Gong in 44th, touching the wall in 2:00.45.

Junior Petra Radovic competed in the 500 free, qualifying 32nd in 4:44.31, just shy of her personal-best time of 4:44.05.

The Huskies are back in the pool Friday when they will compete in 200 medley relay and have six individuals competing, including Gong in the 400 IM, Campbell in the 100 fly, Radovic and Sharp in the 200 free, Patterson in the 100 breast and Ross and Campbell both in the 100 back. Prelims get underway at 9 a.m. PT while finals take place at 5 p.m.

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