NCAA Championships Preview

March 15, 2006

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March 16-18 • University of Georgia • Athens, Ga. • Gabrielsen Natatorium

The 2006 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships get underway at 11 a.m. on Thurs., March 16 at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia.

The competition field is set and includes 64 student-athletes representing 10 Big Ten squads. Six league teams were ranked in the final College Swimming Coaches Association dual meet rankings for the 2005-06 season as Wisconsin led the way at No 12. Penn State was only two spots back at No. 14 while Indiana and Purdue were ranked 16th and 17th, respectively. Michigan (22nd) and Minnesota (23rd) rounded the Big Ten representation in the top 25. The Nittany Lions qualified 12 student-athletes for the championships, the most among all conference schools this season.

Michigan has made the most appearances at the NCAA Championships as the Wolverines will make their 24th-consecutive trip to the event. The only year U-M did not compete at the championships was in 1982; the inaugural year of collegiate women's swimming and diving. Michigan leads the Big Ten with 12 top-10 NCAA team finishes and nine individual champions. Northwestern has recorded four top-10 finishes while Indiana has finished in the top 10 of the event twice. Minnesota and Ohio State are the only other league schools to boast top-10 marks as the Gophers accomplished the feat in 1992 and the Buckeyes in 1983. Indiana led the Big Ten contingent last year after placing ninth overall at the 2005 NCAA Championships.  

Student-athletes from Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin all enter the 2006 NCAA Championships after setting new Big Ten Championships records a few weeks ago. IU's Christina Loukas shattered the previous one-meter diving record after scoring 345.20 points in six dives. Wolverine swimmer Kaitlyn Brady set a new conference record in the 100-yard butterfly after clocking in at 52.60. The Badger foursome of Susan Johnson, Amalia Sarnecki, Sarah Hernandez and Jackie Vavrek swam to a new 200-yard medley record in a 1:38.89 fashion. 

Up-to-date results, event times and all media information can be found at the University of Georgia website at www.georgiadogs.com or ncaasports.com.