Liberty will conclude the fall portion of its swimming & diving schedule this week, competing at the Virginia Tech Invitational, held from Thursday through Saturday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. The Lady Flames are making their second trip to Christiansburg this season, as they went 2-2 at the season-opening Virginia Tech Swimming Challenge, Oct. 11. Liberty will be competing in the Virginia Tech Invitational for the second year in a row. This week's invitational will serve as an introduction to the meet format which Liberty will see at the CCSA Championships and NCAA Championships. The three-day program will consist of two sessions each day, with preliminary heats in the morning and evening finals.
How to Follow the Lady Flames Fans unable to attend this week's meet can follow the action through live timing, provided by Virginia Tech. Also, live video streaming will be available for Thursday and Saturday's evening finals, for a small charge, through Virginia Tech's online video webpage.
Liberty will face five opponents at this week's invitational, including two (No. 31 Virginia Tech and No. 46 South Carolina) which appear in the latest Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Top 25. The Lady Flames will also meet UConn of the American Athletic Conference, Ohio and William & Mary. The Lady Flames are off to a 4-4 start in dual-meet action this year, including wins over major conference opponents Michigan State (Big Ten) and Vanderbilt (SEC). Liberty has appeared in three out of the first four Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Top 25 listings this year, including a No. 50 ranking this week. Following each of Liberty's first three competitions this season, the Lady Flames have received CCSA Women's Swimmer of the Week honors. Most recently, Jess Reinhardt was named Swimmer of the Week on Nov. 13, after posting three event victories during the previous weekend against Vanderbilt and Richmond. She broke Liberty's pool records in the 100 fly (54.96) and 200 fly (2:06.00) on Nov. 8 versus Vanderbilt. Reinhardt's season-best 100 fly time of 54.26 met the NCAA B standard, and is currently tied for 16th in the nation. Junior Meghan Babcock earned CCSA Women's Swimmer of the Week honors on Oct. 30, after winning the 50 free and 100 free at Michigan State. She broke the pool 50 free record, at 23.16, the fastest time in the CCSA so far this season. Her 100 free time of 51.37 ranks second in the CCSA. Senior Emilie Kaufman was named CCSA Women's Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 16, earning her fourth career swimmer of the week honor. At Michigan State, Kaufman broke the program record in the 200 IM, in 2:02.98. She holds the top time in the CCSA in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM. Her top 100 breaststroke mark (1:02.27) of the season meets the NCAA B standard, and has her in a tie for 17th in NCAA Division I. Liberty's medley relays have excelled this season, posting conference-leading marks in both the 200 medley relay (1:42.90) and 400 medley relay (3:46.59). At present, a total of 10 Lady Flames hold times that rank within the top five in the CCSA.
Liberty holds the fastest time in the conference in the following events: 50 free – Meghan Babcock (23.16) 100 breast – Emilie Kaufman (1:02.27) – NCAA Division I B cut (t-17th in nation) 200 breast – Emilie Kaufman (2:16.68) 100 fly – Jess Reinhardt (54.26) – NCAA Division I B cut (t-16th in nation) 200 IM – Emilie Kaufman (2:02.98) 200 medley relay – Hough, Kaufman, Reinhardt, Babcock (1:42.90) 400 medley relay – Duff, Kaufman, Reinhardt, Babcock (3:46.59) After competing in the Virginia Tech Invitational this weekend, select members of the team will swim at the 2013 AT&T Winter National Championships, held from Dec. 5-7 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
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