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Liberty Maintains CCSA Lead With Strong Day 2 Showing

February 20, 2014
|  Knoxville, Tenn.
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Liberty freshman Heather McCorkel lowered the program record in the 500 free to 4:48.87, on Thursday, placing second in the event.

Liberty maintained its lead at the 2014 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships, after a successful second day, Thursday at Allan Jones Aquatic Center.

Following the second out of four days at the championship meet, the Lady Flames are in first place with 264 points, followed in second by five-time defending champion Florida Gulf Coast with 238 points. Incarnate Word holds third place with 154 points, with Georgia Southern (147) and Davidson (134), holding  fourth and fifth.

On the day, the Lady Flames recorded four podium finishes (one relay, three individual), one event victory, 13 lifetime bests, two program records, one CCSA record, one meet record, and two NCAA B cuts.

Liberty qualified 11 swimmers for the evening finals, including 10 in A finals. The Lady Flames recorded four top-eight 50 free qualifying swims, and placed three A finalists in both the 200 IM and 500 free.

Senior Emilie Kaufman won the 200 IM, clocking an NCAA B standard time of 2:00.40, after setting the CCSA, meet and program record at 2:00.29 in prelims. Freshman Victoria Tschoke placed fourth, in 2:03.92, while sophomore Ranndi Grubbs swam a lifetime-best 2:04.15 in placing sixth. Morgan Noonan finished 13th overall after swimming 2:06.40 in the B final.

Freshman Heather McCorkel lowered the 500 free program record by nearly 10 seconds when all was said and done on Thursday, placing second in 4:48.87. Sophomore Kristin VanDeventer went 4:51.76 for fourth, while junior Emily Duff placed fifth in 4:53.78. McCorkel, VanDeventer and Duff all swam lifetime bests in the finals.

Liberty went 3-4-5-6 in the 50 free A final, led by sophomore Jess Reinhardt, who placed third with a 23.01 clocking. Juniors Meghan Babcock (23.04), Cori Gary (23.07) and Chloe Thomas (lifetime-best 23.19) took fourth through sixth, respectively, for the Lady Flames.

The Lady Flames earned a second-place finish in the 200 free relay to close out Thursday's night session. Liberty's A team of Jess Reinhardt, Cori Gary, Chloe Thomas and Meghan Babcock went 1:30.94, while Florida Gulf Coast won in 1:30.24.

McCorkel placed third in 500 free prelims in 4:51.52, setting a new lifetime best and program record. VanDeventer swam a personal-best 4:53.64 to qualify fourth, while Duff's best time of 4:55.05 earned the sixth seed. All three lowered their times in the A final.

Kaufman outpaced the field by a wide margin in qualifying, taking first in an NCAA B cut time, 2:00.29. Her lifetime-best 2:00.29 clocking set a new CCSA, meet and program record. Tschoke qualified in third, with a best time of 2:03.78, while Grubbs' time, 2:05.68, gave her eighth position. Noonan swam a personal-best 2:06.30 to gain a B final swim, in 11th place.

Reinhardt's lifetime-best, NCAA B cut clocking of 22.76 gave her the second seed in the 50 free A final. Babcock and Gary tied for third in qualifying, at 23.19, while Thomas qualified in sixth, at 23.24.

Sophomore Hannah Wakeley finished 17th in 500 free qualifying, in a best time of 5:02.55. Senior Sarah Kendrick swam 5:30.07 during 500 free prelims.

Freshman Amber Slack placed 20th overall in the 50 free, swimming her fastest 50 to date, 24.40.

Junior Jennifer Garzinski recorded a lifetime-best 2:08.72 during the 200 IM, good for 24th place.

Sophomore Courtney Fox, Liberty's first-ever diver, scored 205.6 points in the women's one-meter diving, placing 19th overall. Her best dive of the afternoon earned her 50.4 points.

The Lady Flames hold top position going into Friday's day three action, which begins at 10 a.m. with preliminary heats of the 400 individual medley. Friday's program will also feature the 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 back and 400 medley relay.