Feb. 24, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Richmond swimming & diving team put another record-breaking session in the books Thursday night at the A-10 Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. The Spiders broke the 200 free relay record, won the three individual events and take a 76-point lead into Friday.
The 200 free relay highlighted the night as the team of sophomore Lauren Hines, freshman Mali Kobelja, senior Nicole LePere and junior Charlotte Brackett blew away the field and set the A-10 and school records in a time of 1:31.57 - winning by almost four seconds. The Spiders' 2004 relay of Boncher, Sabri, Adams and Coombs held both previous records (1:32.77).
Kobelja earlier in the night won the 200 IM and set the A-10 Championship record in 2:00.07, freshman Jessie Krebs took the 500 free and crushed the school record in 4:48.51, and Hines and Charlotte Brackett went 1-2 in the 50 free.
"We had a decent morning," said head coach Matt Barany. "So we focused on making improvements tonight. I am most impressed with the accuracy of their improvement - especially the freshmen."
In the 50 free, five of the eight lanes in the championship final were occupied by Spiders. Hines (23.21) and Brackett (23.29) claimed the top two spots, followed by LePere in sixth (23.51), sophomore Mina Vucic in seventh (23.79) and freshman Laura Jordan in eighth (23.80).
"Five Spiders in the final of the 50 free was thrilling," said Barany.
The Spiders also scored big in the 500 free, as Krebs led a pack of five Spiders that scored points in the event - four were swimming in the championship final. Junior Alexi Kuska was third (4:52.51), junior Michelle Johnson was seventh (5:01.02) and freshman Mariel Kush was eighth (5:04.64). Senior Chrissy Brodt put down an impressive 4:59.93 to win the consolation final and grab ninth-place overall.
Just two Spiders swam the 200 IM - Kobelja and junior Mary Anne Lerro, who was 10th in a time of 2:07.58.
At the halfway point of the Championship, Richmond has 296 points to its credit and is trailed by Fordham (220), La Salle (149.5), Massachusetts (142) and St. Bonaventure (112) in the top five.
Since the A-10 switched to the four-day championship format in 2005, the Spiders' 296 points are their second-highest two-day total. It trails the 313 scored by the 2005 championship squad.
The Championship resumes Friday morning at the Flickinger Athletic Center in downtown Buffalo. The finals session begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday night, with live video coverage available.