Feb. 18, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, MD- The Clemson women’s swimming and diving team got competition underway at the 2009 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships at Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium in College Park, Md. The Tigers finished the first day in sixth place, which consisted of the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay.
The Championships started at 6:00 p.m. with the 200 medley relay, where Kelli Kyle, Katrina Obas, Rachel Regone took sixth, notching a school- record and NCAA-B 1:40.01.
Kyle had the Tigers out quickly in third with a 25.19 on the backstroke leg of the race. Obas continued with the breaststroke before giving way to another freshman, Tarantolo, on the butterfly portion. Regone, a senior, took the tigers home with the second-fastest freestyle split to put the Tigers into sixth overall with a 1:40.01.
The time bettered the previous school record of 1:40.76 by three-quarters of a second, which was set in 2002 by Lindsey Kroeger, Mandy Commons, Elise Thieler, and Jenna Burtch.
After a short break, the Tigers returned for the 800 free relay. The all-senior relay team of Michelle Parkhurst, Cassy LaRussa, Summer O’Donnell, and Regone finished fourth with a time of 7:12.08. The Tigers broke another school record, this time by over six seconds. This marks the second school record to fall in Maryland and a second NCAA-B cut for the Tigers.
Parkhurst set a blistering pace with her opening time of 1:45.47. LaRussa took off on the second leg and handed things off to fellow distance swimmer O’Donnell. Both ladies split under the 1:50 mark with Regone anchoring. Regone, swimming her second event of the night, closed things out for the Tigers with a fourth place finish overall.
The 800 free relay of Kemmerling, Hayden, Kremer, Kueny held the previous record of 7:18.32 set in 1986.
The Tigers finished the night with 56 points, only 10 off of second place. Virginia took the win in both events and leads with 80 points overall.
Day two competition will begin on Thursday morning with the preliminaries of the 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, the women’s one-meter diving event, and the men’s three-meter diving.
Clemson will look to bombard that night’s finals as well, as the two-time defending ACC champions in the 200 free relay will compete on Thursday night, as relays do not have preliminary heats. The Tigers will look to boost their status in the sprints, where three Tigers sit in the top-four spots in the 50 free this season.
In the 50 free, seniors Rachel Regone and Lauren Sindall, the second and third-seeded sprinters in the field will take on a fast ACC group. Sara Smith, a Virginia Tech swimmer is the current ACC record-holder and the defending champion in the 50 free. Regone has the second-fastest time in the ACC this season and will be Smith’s main competition. Regone will also look to take out her own school record of 22.54, which she will likely have three tries to conquer on Thursday.
The 500 free will feature seniors Cassy LaRussa and Summer O’Donnell, as well as junior Mandy Snell and sophomore Sarah Smith. Each is capable of scoring for the Tigers in Thursday night’s finals.
Junior Katrina Obas will be the Tigers’ top threat in the 200 IM, as she ranks in the top-20 in the ACC this season in the event and ranks second in Clemson history. Elizabeth Savage and Carmen Groenewoud will also compete here.
In the Diving events, David Giambra ranks in the ACC’s top-eight so far this season in the three-meter, and Ryan McDaniel, also a Zone qualifier will add depth as a threat to score. Giambra is the school record-holder in the three-meter event, while McDaniel ranks second all-time.
Thursday finals can be viewed on ACC Select starting at 5:15 with diving and followed using the LiveStats link.
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