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Lady Flames Remain in 2nd Place After Day 3 of CCSA Championships

February 20, 2015  Athens, Ga.  RSS
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Senior Emily Duff placed fourth in the 400 IM in a program-record 4:19.56.

Senior Emily Duff placed fourth in the 400 IM in a program-record 4:19.56.

The Liberty swimming & diving team maintained its second-place position after day three of the 2015 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships.

Liberty, the defending champion, enters the final day of competition in second place with 834 points. Florida Gulf Coast, the 2014 conference runner-up, leads with 1,114 points in search of its sixth title in the last seven seasons. Georgia Southern is in third with 782.5 points, while Gardner-Webb (675.5) and Incarnate Word (618) round out the top five.

For the day, Liberty had 17 finals swims (eight A finals, eight B finals and one C final), 12 lifetime bests, two NCAA B cuts, two podium finishes (one individual, one relay) and two program records.

Senior Emily Duff began the evening session for the Lady Flames with a program-record 4:19.56 to place fourth in the 400 individual medley. Incarnate Word's Alona Kyselova won in a conference, meet-record and NCAA B cut time of 4:13.15.

 Liberty freshman Kendall Hart placed fifth in the 100 fly in a lifetime-best 55.79, while junior Natalie Beale swam 55.94 for seventh. Junior Ranndi Grubbs placed second in the B final, taking 10th overall in a lifetime-best 56.31, while freshman Danielle Boothe took 14th place in 57.66.

The Lady Flames then took fourth and eighth in the 200 free A final, led by senior Meghan Babcock's season-best 1:51.11. Junior Kristin VanDeventer placed eighth in 1:52.28. Freshman Rachel Hoeve swam a lifetime-best 1:53.23 for 11th and classmate Ashlee Sall placed 12th in 1:53.41.

Freshman Prudence Rooker claimed fourth in the 100 breaststroke with a personal-best 1:02.55. Classmate Rachel Wasko's best time of 1:04.35 was good for 13th, while freshman Danielle Boothe swam a lifetime-best 1:07.17 for 18th in finals.

Junior Kendall Hough became the first Lady Flame to break 54 seconds in the 100 back, taking second in a lifetime-best, program-record, NCAA B cut time of 53.98. Sophomore Victoria Tschoke picked up her first career B cut, coming in fourth in a lifetime-best 54.89. Junior Natalie Beale swam 56.37 for ninth overall and Chloe Thomas' 58.06 placed 14th.

The Lady Flames closed out the evening session by finishing second in the 400 medley relay. Liberty's Hough (54.42), Rooker (1:02.69), Beale (55.94) and Babcock (50.06) combined for a time of 3:43.11. Florida Gulf Coast won in a new CCSA, meet-record and NCAA A cut time of 3:34.11.

Liberty opened the morning with the 400 IM, as Duff swam a 4:24.64 to qualify in fifth for the A final. Sarah Browning's top time of the season, 4:30.50, placed her in the B final at 13th.

The Lady Flames earned four finalists in the 100 fly. Natalie Beale clocked 55.71, a season best, to place fifth, while Hart swam a then lifetime-best 56.00 for seventh position. Grubbs (56.95) and Boothe (57.42) both made the B final for Liberty. Rachel Rippey recorded a personal-best 57.32 and Sydney Archuleta went a season-best 1:01.26, both as exhibition swimmers.

Babcock's 1:51.15 clocking qualified her in third for the 200 free A final. VanDeventer swam 1:51.93, good for seventh. Sall clocked a collegiate-best 1:52.99 for 12th, while Hoeve's 1:54.47 put her in 16th. Freshman Chelsea Pond (1:57.19) and senior Cori Gary (1:57.23) finished in 28th and 29th, respectively.

Rooker placed fourth in qualifying for the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.92. Wasko swam a then lifetime-best 1:04.76, good for 13th in prelims, while Boothe's best time of 1:07.46 made the C final, in 19th.

Liberty finished the morning session with four finals qualifications in the 100 back. Hough broke Liberty's existing program record in NCAA B cut 54.18 to qualify second. Tschoke swam her then personal best time, 55.53, to tie for fifth in advancing to the A final. Beale went 56.48, good for ninth, while Thomas (57.90) joined her as a B finalist. Archuleta swam a lifetime best, 57.01, while Rippey also clocked a best time, 57.82.

The Lady Flames remain in second position 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.