March 20, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - On day one of the 2014 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, the Alabama Crimson Tide broke a pair of school records, picking up where they left off at last month's Southeastern Conference Championships.
The Tide opened the championships, being held at the University Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus by breaking the school 200 freestyle relay record in the first race of the preliminaries. Senior Kristel Vourna, freshman Bailey Scott, senior Stephanie Kinsey and sophomore Justine Panian combined to touch the wall at 1:29.76 to take 20th place, shaving two-tenths of a second off the previous school mark set by the same crew at the SEC Championships.
Alabama closed out the morning session by taking 15th place in the 400 medley relay with a school record swim of 3:34.08, shaving more than a second off the previous mark set at the SEC Championships. Unfortunately, Kinsey, Burchell, Vourna and sophomore Emma Saunders were disqualified in finals, missing out on the team points.
In her first event in NCAA Championship competition, senior Paige McCleary took 16th place off the 1-meter board after turning a score of 288.40 in finals, earning honorable mention All-American honors along the way. In other individual action, freshman Bridget Blood posted a time of 2:01.33 in the 200 individual medley, to take 57th place overall.
On Friday, Vourna will swim the 100 butterfly, Burchell and Blood will swim the 100 breaststroke and the Tide will compete in the 200 medley relay while McCleary will compete off the 3-meter board.