March 15, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. -
A pair of Alabama swimmers turned in career-best swims on day one of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships being held at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala. this week.
Sophomore Alex Popa shaved two and a half seconds off her career-best time in the 200 individual medley, turning in a 1:58.84 to take 28th place. Freshman Kaylin Burchell also turned in a career-best swim of her own, shaving a second and a half off her 200 IM time, taking 43rd place with a 2:00.28. Popa is now second while Burchell moved up to fifth all-time for the Tide in the 200 IM.
Sophomore Kristel Vourna took 56th place in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.90.
"We got off to a solid start today with both Alex and Kaylin shaved significant time off their personal best times in the 200 IM," UA head coach Eric McIlquham said. "Tomorrow will be a good day for us with some of our best events coming up."
All three swimmers move into their primary events on Friday. Vourna will swim the 100 butterfly while Popa and Burchell will both swim the 100 breaststroke. Vourna holds the school record in the 100 butterfly and finished 17th at the NCAA Championships as a rookie. Burchell is second all-time at UA in the 100 breaststroke, just behind UA All-American and Olympic bronze medalist Anne Poleska, while Popa is fifth.
Friday's preliminaries will get underway at 11 a.m. CDT while finals are slated to start at 7 p.m. CDT. Prelims will stream live on NCAA.com while finals will air on ESPN3.