WUSTL Women’s 800-Freestyle Relay Smashes School Record in Seventh-Place Finish at NCAA Championships
Shenandoah, Texas, March 22, 2013 – The Washington University in St. Louis women’s 800-freestyle relay team of freshman Grace Counts, freshman Kristalyn McAfee, sophomore Sara Taege and freshman Toireasa Rafferty-Millett broke the school record by more than six seconds to place seventh in the event at the 2013 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships Friday at Conroe Natatorium.
Heading into the fourth and final day of competition at the NCAA Championships, the Washington University women sit in 12th place with 65 team points, which is 14 points out of ninth place. The WUSTL men are tied for 27th with 15 points, 11 points out of the top-20.
Counts, McAfee, Taege and Rafferty-Millett swam to a record-setting time of 7:25.50 during Friday night’s finals of the 800-free relay to place seventh for All-America honors. The time was nearly 6.5 seconds faster than the group’s previous season-best, and shattered the school record of 7:31.71 set in 2007 by Kelly Kono, Meredith Nordbrock, Katie Hodges and Marin Hawk, who finished as the national runner-up that year.
Five individuals also competed for the Bears Friday. Junior Chi Pham and freshman Katie Anderson both swam season-bests in the women’s 100 backstroke. Pham finished 21st in 57.13, while Anderson was 28th in 57.55. Sophomore Luke Dobben also clocked a season-best time (1:50.75) to finish 24th in the men’s 200 butterfly, while sophomore Zane Turpin placed 28th (1:53.40). Rafferty-Millett posted a 24th-place finish in the women’s 200 butterfly.
The Bears close out the meet with six individuals and a relay competing Saturday. The Washington U. men will have freshman Reed Dalton competing in the 100 freestyle, while Turpin and Dobben will race in the 1,650 freestyle. McAfee and Pham will compete in the women’s 100 freestyle. Anderson (women’s 200 backstroke) and the women’s 400-freestyle relay are also scheduled to compete on the final day of the NCAA Championships.