March 20, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women's swimming and diving team advanced to the final in one event during Saturday afternoon's session of the NCAA Championships held inside the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.
Ariel Martin, Lisa Butler, Lauren Roth and Leah Henninger qualified for the final in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The quartet, which holds Purdue's record of 3 minutes, 18.20 seconds, grabbed the 15th qualifying spot by completing the race in 3:19.42. Martin, who broke Purdue's record in the 100 freestyle with her 48.99 time at last month's Big Ten Championships, finished 39th when she completed the event in 49.80.
Junior Allie Smith finished the 200 backstroke in 1:57.30 to record the 43rd-fastest time of the session. The Green Bay, Wis., native holds the program record in the event with her 1:55.72 time from the Big Ten Championships. Smith became the first 100 backstroke All-American in program history Friday evening when she finished 15th in the final after lowering the program record to 53.20 during the preliminary session.
Fellow junior Erin Mertz took 22nd in the qualifying round of the platform diving competition with her score of 231.65 points. The Omaha, Neb., native began the meet by earning her second consecutive All-America honor in the 1-meter springboard Thursday evening. Sophomore Casey Matthews was in sixth place as the fourth round started, but on the second-to-last dive of her list, the Getzville, N.Y., native landed in the water on her chest from the 10-meter and was removed from the competition by head diving coach Adam Soldati as a precaution.
The final session of the NCAA Championships begins at 7 p.m. ET and has seven events scheduled. The 1,650 freestyle, which features freshman Caitlin Hamilton as the eighth seed, is the first event, while the 400 freestyle relay is the last event on the docket. Live video and live results can be found at purduesports.com.