AUSTIN, Texas --- The streak ended at three for the Georgia women's swimming and diving team, as the Bulldogs finished second with 386 points, only a few more than at the 2002 NCAA Championships held at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the campus of the University of Texas. The Georgia team ended the season with record-setting performances.
Georgia finished the meet with total of 30 All-Americans and four Honorable Mention All-Americans.
In a spectacular performance in the last race of the night the foursome of Williams, Mabry, Kearns, and Correia had a record-setting time in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The relay team broke the NCAA, U.S. Open, American, and Georgia records in the one of the fastest NCAA Championships in history.
"One word - Unbelievable!" said head coach Jack Bauerle. "This team showed the true Bulldog character. It was a great performance by everyone."
"This was a great night for Georgia swimming and this was overall an exciting meet for us. The kids did a great job. It was all about swimming our hardest, " said Jack Bauerle. "We came in here ranked sixth and we were expected to finish fifth or sixth. We surprised a lot of people with a second place finish. It was a remarkable feat for us and people don't realize the level of competition at these meets. The high level of competition was obvious with all of the record-setting times. That made the meet more exciting because you never knew who was next to break a record."
The Bulldogs had two finalists in the 100-yard freestyle with electrifying performances finishing first and second, which added key points to the Georgia team score. Maritza Correia, who finished second in the 100-yard free at last year's championships, took first place with a record-setting time of 47.56. This was a new NCAA, American, and U.S. Open record, and the third time Correia has accomplished this feat in the 2002 Championships. This 100-yard free record was previously held by Jenny Thompson from Stanford in 1992. In addition to these records she also set a new Georgia record. Stefanie Williams, who finished third in this event at last year's championships, captured a second place with a personal-best time of 48.37.
"This was an incredible meet for me," said Correia. "I didn't expect to come in here and get two American records. It was very exciting for me. The whole team swam exceptionally well."
"Ritz and Stef each swam a perfect race," added Bauerle. "Maritza had the most impressive race in history. Stefanie swam great and is a rock of the team who will definitely be missed."
"I can't say enough about Maritza's performance in the championships," said Bauerle. "She broke two American records that were held by two of the best swimmers ever in the history of the sport, Jenny Thompson and Amy Van Dyken. That is an amazing accomplishment for one meet."
Georgia had three swimmers in the 1,650-yard freestyle event. Julie Hardt went full speed and had a season-best time of 16:20.01 finishing first in her heat and seventh overall. Ali Williams finished with a time of 16:42.66, third in her heat and 26th overall. Caroline Burns, in her first NCAA Championship, finished eighth in her heat and 32nd overall with a time of 16:49.69.
Senior Ashley Roby, in her final race as a Bulldog, took fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:11.41. Stanford's Tara Kirk took first in a record-setting time of 2:07.36. Freshman Lindsey Erttertook second in the 200-yard breast consolation final (10th overall).
Freshman Katie Yevak, in her first NCAA Championship, finished third in the consolation final of the 200-yard butterfly (11th overall). Senior Shelly Ripple from Stanford took the title with an NCAA record time of 1:53.23.
The 2002 Women's NCAA Championships mark the conclusion of the Lady Bulldogs' season. The men's team will compete in their own territory, as Georgia hosts the 2002 Men's Swimming and Diving NCAA Championships in Athens, beginning March 28.
1. Auburn - 474
2. Georgia - 386
3. Stanford - 301
4. Southern Califoria - 300.5
5. Arizona - 291
6. Texas - 267.5
7.Florida - 249
8. California - 245
GEORGIA RESULTS (championship and consolation finals only)
No Georgia swimmers participating
1st --- Maritza Correia, 47.56 (NCAA, U.S. Open, American, and Georgia record)
2nd --- Stefanie Williams, 48.37/
11th --- Katie Yevak, 1:57.94.
400-yard freestyle relay
1st --- Georgia (Williams, Mabry, Kearns, Correia), 3:13.71.
ALL-AMERICANS --- 30 total
Maritza Correia (50y free, 100y free, 200y free, 200y free relay, 400y free relay, 800y free relay, 400y medley relay)
Lindsey Ertter (100y breast)
Julie Hardt (1,650y free)
Paige Kearns (200y free relay, 400y free relay, 800y free relay)
Christine Keller (200y medley relay, 400y medley relay)
Neka Mabry (100y back, 200y free relay, 400y free relay, 200y medley relay)
Ashley Roby (200y IM, 100y breast, 200y breast, 400y medley relay, 200y medley relay)
Stefanie Williams (50y free, 100y free, 200y free, 200y free relay,200y medley relay, 400y free relay, 800y free relay)
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICAN --- 4 total