After what Jon Carlson described as a “strong” first day of competition at the 2012 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, the head coach had to break out the thesaurus after day two. The term “All-American” would be fitting.
With a pair of All-America performances on Thursday night in the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind., the Gustavus swimmers picked up 52 points and now sit in 10th place with 64 points heading into the third day of the meet.
The 200-freestyle relay team of Kelsey Lucia (St. Cloud, Minn.), Sarah Hund (Willmar, Minn.), Katie Olson (North Oaks, Minn.), and Alissa Tinklenberg (Willmar, Minn.) earned the Gusties 26 points by finishing sixth with a time of 1:34.88. By finishing in the top-eight, the group earns All-America distinction.
The Gustie relays continued to shine later in the meet when Tinklenberg, Jennifer Strom (Rochester, Minn.), Steph Korba (Lakeville, Minn.), and Olson also earned All-America honors by finishing sixth in the 400-medley relay with a time of 3:52.12, picking up another 26 points. The Gustavus 400-medley was ranked 11th with a qualifying time of 3:52.09 entering the meet. The group went 3:50.88 in the morning preliminaries to earn a spot in the top-eight heading into the evening finals. In the process, the group also broke the school record in the 400-medley relay by over two seconds. The previous best time was turned in by Carley Mosher, Korba, Maggie Hansvick, and Hund at the 2011 MIAC Championships.
“It was a superb day for the Gusties, especially in a meet where you have to swim your fastest just to have a chance. For the girls to drop time in the 400-medley relay was awesome,” said Carlson. “What was really special was that the girls really wanted to put it on the line for Steph Korba, who was swimming her last collegiate event. They set out to make Steph an All-American and bring to an end an amazing career. They accomplished that, and swimmers couldn’t have been happier for her. It was pretty special to see.”
Also swimming in individual events on day two was Jennifer Strom and Katie Olson. Strom swam a 4:49.26 in the 400 IM to place 25th, while Olson touched the wall in 1:55.74 to finish 37th.
The 2012 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships will continue tomorrow morning with the prelims of the 200 butterfly beginning at 9:00 a.m.