Carlson, 400 Free Relay Record Highlight USC's Day 3 NCAA Prelims|
March 22, 2014
Senior Kasey Carlson broke through to earn her first career trip to an NCAA 100y free final and then helped Troy's 400y free relay shatter the school record en route to claiming the second overall seed while defending platform champion Haley Ishimatsu advanced to the final as the top seed to lead USC during the final prelim session of the 2014 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, Saturday (March 22) at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis.
Carlson, a two-time career `B' finalist in the 100y free, busted into the `A' final for the first time with a 47.69, sixth best in the prelims. With a second place in the 50y free on Thursday and fourth in the 100y breast on Friday, she is an NCAA three-time individual finalist for the first time.
She then joined sophomore Kasia Wilk, who led off, third-place swimmer freshman Chelsea Chenault and anchor sophomore Jasmine Tosky as they obliterated the only-weeks-old school record with a 3:12.84 to finish second overall in the 400y free relay. The time lowered the mark set at Pac-12s by 1.48 seconds.
Wilk got the relay off to a solid start with a 48.70 and Carlson put the Trojans in first with a 47.62 split. Chenault kept the momentum and the lead with a 48.25 and Tosky held off a charging field with a 48.27.
Ishimatsu, a finalist on 1-meter Thursday and a consolation finalist on 3-meter Friday, led after four of the five rounds of platform prelims. She had the lead after three rounds with 223.00 before a rare misstep on her fourth dive dropped her to fourth with 259.30. But she responded with her best dive of the five, scoring 81.60 on a back 2 1/2 somersault 1 1/2 twist pike to head into finals as a the top seed with 340.90
Earlier in the swim session, junior Andrea Kropp captured her first second swim of the meet with a 2:08.69 in the 200y breast, tied for 12th in the morning session. It marks her second scoring effort in the event after taking seventh last year at the NCAAs.
Tosky, about 30 minutes before her relay anchor, also secured a second swim, finishing the 200y fly with a 1:55.06, tying for 11th in prelims for a spot in the `B' final. She was fifth in the race last year.
Other USC finishers from the final day of prelims included sophomores Kendyl Stewart (35th, 1:55.84) and Joanna Stenkvist (38th, 1:56.22) and freshman Lexie Malazdrewicz (43rd, 1:56.53) in the 200y back, Wilk in the 100y free (24th, 48.73), seniors Stina Gardell (36th, 2:11.75) and Meghan Hawthorne (47th, 2:13.23) in the 200y breast and Chenault in the 200y fly (41st, 1:58.78).
Finals begin at 5 p.m. PT.
* Click here for a link to live coverage of Saturday's finals.