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Lady Flames in 1st Place at CCSA Championships Heading Into Final Day
Following another record-setting day on Friday, the third day of competition, Liberty continues to lead the 2014 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships.
Going into the final day of the meet, Liberty leads the women's standings, with 471 points. Florida Gulf Coast, five-time defending champion, is in second place at 453. Georgia Southern (305), Davidson (257) and Incarnate Word (216) follow in third through fifth.
Liberty recorded seven podium finishes (one relay, six individual), three event victories, five program records, three CCSA records, three meet records and three NCAA B cuts.
For the second day in a row, the Lady Flames placed 10 swimmers in A finals on Friday, while Liberty added three B finals swims.
Junior Emily Duff, the top seed in Friday's 400 IM after swimming a program-record 4:20.89 in prelims, placed third in the A final, in 4:21.02.
Liberty then took the top two places in the 100 fly for the second year in a row, both in NCAA B cut times. Sophomore Jess Reinhardt, who set the CCSA, meet and program record in 52.14 in prelims, won the A final in 52.17. Senior Bethany Kennon swam a personal-best 53.91, good for second place, while sophomore Ranndi Grubbs took eighth, in 56.73.
Freshman Heather McCorkel became the first Lady Flame to break 1:50 in the 200 free, placing third in the A final in a best time, 1:49.07. Junior Meghan Babcock took eighth, in 1:54.20. Kennon swam her top 200 free, 1:51.42, good for 11th overall, while Kristin VanDeventer was 13th in 1:52.00.
Senior Emilie Kaufman picked up her second event win of the meet, as she sped to a CCSA, meet, program-record time of 1:00.01, an NCAA B cut that will almost certainly earn a selection to the NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships.
Sophomore Kendall Hough finished third in the 100 back, meeting the NCAA B standard in 54.76. Victoria Tschoke (55.98) took fifth, and Natalie Chambers (56.98), eighth. Chloe Thomas' B final swim of 57.28 was good for 12th overall.
The Lady Flames closed out the evening session by posting a dominant 3:36.73 to win the 400 medley relay, setting new CCSA, meet and program records. Hough led off in 55.27, followed by Kaufman (59.88), Reinhardt (51.91) and Babcock (49.67).
Duff got Liberty's morning session off to a great start, swimming a program-record 4:20.89 while turning in the top qualifying time in the 400 IM. While setting a lifetime best by nearly 12 seconds, Duff broke Erin Curry's program record of 4:25.77, set in 2012.
Reinhardt then turned in a sensational time in the 100 fly, breaking her own CCSA, meet and program record in an NCAA B cut 52.14, a time that should ensure selection to the NCAA Championships. Kennon swam 54.95 to claim third in qualifying, while Grubbs earned the seventh seed by tying her personal best, 56.54.
In the 200 freestyle, Liberty claimed four spots in finals, led by McCorkel's third-place qualification, as the freshman broke her own program record in 1:50.24. Babcock's best mark, 1:50.85, earned the sixth seed. Kennon swam a best time, good for ninth position, 1:51.52, while VanDeventer (1:51.84) clocked the 10th fastest preliminary swim.
Kaufman, after seeing Bates break her existing CCSA and meet record with a 1:00.98 in heat five of the 100 breaststroke, raced to a record-setting, NCAA B cut time of her own, 1:00.26, the top time in qualifying.
The Lady Flames earned four finals swims in the 100 back, including three in the A final. Hough swam a lifetime-best 54.66, qualifying in second with an NCAA B cut. Chambers' personal-best 55.73 earned the freshman the fifth seed, while Tschoke gained sixth position in 55.95. Thomas clocked her best time, 57.07, gaining a B finals appearance in 11th.
Freshman Morgan Noonan touched the wall in 1:05.47 during the 100 breaststroke, serving at the first alternate for finals with a 17th-place performance.
Chambers' personal-best 57.92 placed her 18th in the 100 fly, while senior Sarah Kendrick turned in her best performance, 1:00.97.
Junior Cori Gary swam a season-best 1:57.63 for 200 free to finish in 30th place.
Junior Jennifer Garzinski posted her top 100 back clocking, 58.16, good for a 20th-place finish, while freshman Amber Slack placed 33rd in her fastest time of 1:00.26.
The Lady Flames continue to lead the women's team standings, heading into Saturday's fourth and final day of competition. Saturday's morning preliminary session begins at 10 a.m. with trials of the 200 backstroke, and also includes heats of the 100 free, 200 breaststroke, 200 fly, 400 free relay and 1,650 free.