AU Women Finish 8th at NCAA Championships

West LaFayette, Ind.--Auburn moved up two spots on Saturday during the final night of competition to finish eighth at the 2010 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.

Auburn, which came into the three-day competition at Purdue University ranked eighth, bounced back from a disappointing performance on Friday when the Tigers fell from seventh to 10th place.

"This group of women really showed true Auburn spirit tonight and fought to the end," said Auburn coach Brett Hawke, whose Tigers scored 153 points. "I'm so proud to be associated with the women's team for the first time and am excited for the promise this team has in years to come."

Florida was the surprise winner with 382 points, edging Stanford by 2 1/2 points. Cal was third with 363 and was followed by Arizona at 359.5 and SEC champion Georgia at 342.5. Texas was sixth with 311 followed by Southern Cal's 251 and Auburn was next.

The meet was the collegiate finale for seniors Ava Ohlgren, Melissa Marik and Maggie Bird, who were members of AU's last women's national championship team in 2007 and swam on two SEC championship squads.

"These seniors have been through a lot during their four years at Auburn," Hawke said. "They have gone through tough situations and I'm very proud with how they've battled through and been leaders on the team."

Auburn's top individual performance on Saturday night was a fifth place in the 100 freestyle from Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, who swam a time of 47.94 in the final after qualifying first and in a school-record time of 47.74 in the prelims.

Vennie Dantin took sixth place in the platform diving competition with a score of 286.75 while Anna Aguero was 12th at 255.70.

"I can't be more proud of how these two competed in their first NCAA meet," Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "It is difficult to get here and even more difficult to score points. They really stepped up today and really shown their improvement. We're happy to contribute to the team's overall success because that is why we are here and we take great pride in that."

Closing out the 2010 meet was the 400 free relay, seeing the team of Hannah Riordan, Marik, Caitlin Geary and Vanderpool-Wallace swam a season-best time of 3:15.05.

The men's team, the 2009 NCAA champs, will begin competition on Thursday at the nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

Meet Results

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