O¡¯Brien Finishes Ninth in 400 IM at NCAA Championships With New School Record Time
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.; March 9, 2007 ¨C Sophomore Kaitlin O¡¯Brien (Caldwell, N.J.) broke her own school record with a career best time of 4:11.56 to finish ninth in the finals of the 400 IM on Friday night at the NCAA Championships. O¡¯Brien, who finished sixth in the 400 IM at NCAAs last year, becomes an honorable mention All-American with her victory in the consolation final.
O¡¯Brien just missed making it into the championship final by just .03 of a second with a time of 4:12.85 in the morning prelims. Her time in the finals broke her previous school record by .47 of a second. Kelly Nelson (West Chester, Pa.) just missed making it to the consolation final, also by just .03 of a second, but still swam her career best time of 4:15.23 in the prelims of the 400 IM. Also in the 400 IM, Kailey Morris (Lewistown, Pa.) finished 26th in 4:18.22, her best non-converted time of the year, and just behind her in 28th was Karie Haglund (Marietta, Ga.) in 4:18.72. Claire Hawley (Barnstable, Mass.) finished 43rd in 4:26.40.
The 800 free relay team of Jessica Barnes (Glenmoore, Pa.), Nikki Collins (Carmel, Ind.), Molly Crispell (Boalsburg, Pa.) and Nelson finished in 14th place to pick up six more points for the Nittany Lions. The quartet finished in a time of 7:16.26 to pick up honorable mention All-American status. The relay team finished two spots better than last year¡¯s team at NCAAs. Barnes, Crispell and Nelson all picked up their second straight honorable mention All-American honor as all three also swam on last year¡¯s 16th place 800 free relay team.
Three Nittany Lions swam in the 200 free, but none advanced to the finals. Nikki Collins had the best finish in 53rd in a time of 1:49.49. Barnes swam the third-best time of her career in finishing 56th in 1:49.86. Crispell finished 62nd in 1:50.26.
Daphne Skelos (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) also swam her third-best time of the year in the 100 back in finishing 41st in :56.13.
The Nittany Lions sit in a tie for 27th place out of the 42 teams that have scored so far at the NCAA meet. Penn State is tied with Hawaii with 15 points.