Wilk, Apostalon, Vose Lead Strong Final NCAA Prelim Session|
March 19, 2016
Senior Kasia Wilk and junior Anika Apostalon each qualified for the A final in the 100y free, freshman Kirsten Vose did the same in the 200y breast and all three joined junior Chelsea Chenault to capture the top spot in the 400y free relay on Saturday (March 19) at the 2016 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
The quartet, with Wilk leading off and followed by Vose, Chenault and Apostalon, broke the school (3:11.87) and pool records (3:12.38) with a 3:10.97, 1.24 seconds faster than Stanford's second-place 3:12.21. A win in the final would be USC's first ever NCAA title in the 400y free relay and first overall since an AIAW title in 1976.
Wilk and Apostalon already made history as the first Trojan duo to reach the 100y free A final since 1985 when Sue Habernigg and Heather Strang did it. Wilk earned the third seed overall in 47.44 while Apostalon grabbed fifth with a 47.65, both with personal records and with plenty of room to spare. Eighth was 48.02.
For Wilk, that marked four years of steady progress after finishing 42nd as a freshman, 24th as a sophomore before scoring in 10th last year. Apostalon was a two-time B finalist at San Diego State the past two years.
Kasey Carlson was USC's most recent 100y free A finalist in 2014 and was the first since Rhi Jeffrey in 2006. Ten years earlier, Allison Bock did it in 1996 and Ayako Nakano did it in 1994, which was the first since the 1985 duo. No Trojan has ever won the event.
Vose became USC's only double A finalist at this year's NCAAs, capturing the fifth seed in the 200y breast in 2:07.63, just 0.17 off her personal record set at the Texas Invitational. She was also third in the 200y IM on Thursday.
Chenault clinched a repeat trip to the 200y fly B final with a 1:55.27 in prelims, just 0.11 off her season best. Chenault won the B final at least year's NCAAs.
Freshman Hanni Leach, who set a PR in the 100y back Friday, equaled her PR in the 200y back with a 1:54.18 to finish 24th in prelims. Senior Kendyl Stewart was 27th (1:54.49) and senior Joanna Stenkvist was 32nd (1:55.32) -- each in their final college swim -- while sophomore Hannah Weiss was 33rd (1:55.33). Freshman Riley Scott finished 43rd in the 200y breast in 2:12.88.
Freshman Madison Witt finished 28th on platform with 217.85 points.
The meet concludes tonight with finals at 6 p.m. ET.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION