Feb. 23, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Richmond sophomore Lauren Hines was part of three record-setting performances by the 200 medley and 800 free relay teams, helping the Richmond women's swimming & diving team to a fast start as the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship began Wednesday night in Buffalo, N.Y.
Hines broke the school record in the 200 free thanks to her lead-off leg in the 800 free relay, and the Roanoke, Va. native triggered both winning relays as the Spiders accumulated 88 points and sit third after Day One. Richmond narrowly trails Fordham (111 points) and Massachusetts (89), which each scored big in the 1-meter diving.
"Relays bring out the best in our group," said head coach Matt Barany. "We were fired up tonight."
Richmond wasted little time with the 200 medley relay of Hines, freshman Mali Kobelja, junior Jill Smanioto and junior Charlotte Brackett sprinting out of the blocks and giving the Spiders their first gold of the meet and 40 points.
The relay beat Fordham by almost two seconds, setting both an A-10 Championship record and a school record in an NCAA-B time of 1:40.11.
In the 800 free relay, both the A-10 and school records were in danger again as Hines teamed with freshman Jessie Krebs, junior Alexi Kuska and Brackett. The Spiders crushed the field, beating Fordham by six seconds, and adding 40 more points to the Red and Blue's cause.
The time of 7:19.65 was also good for an NCAA-B qualifying time, set the school record and put Richmond back in possession of the A-10 Championship record, which was previously held by Fordham's 2010 team. Richmond now holds all five A-10 Championship relay records. Hines's lead-off split of 1:49.33 clipped the previous 200 free school mark of 1:50.00 set by Brackett last season. The sophomore has eight career A-10 medals to her credit - six of which are golds.
"We were so excited to start with our divers tonight," said Barany. "I commend our two first-year divers for their grace under pressure."
Wednesday's performance was almost a complete turnaround from last year's Day One when the Spiders were edged by Fordham in the 200 medley relay and were disqualified from the 800 free relay.
"We learned many lessons last year," said Barany. "The most important is the duration of the meet. We have to fight for three more days."
Day Two of the Championship begins Thursday morning with preliminary action. The finals session starts at 6:30 p.m. and the A-10 will webstream the evening session live, free of charge.