March 19, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The Johns Hopkins women's swim team kicked off the 2014 NCAA Championship on a strong note with titles in the 50 Free and 200 Medley Relay. The Blue Jays grabbed 100 points and sit in second place after the first day of the championship. Four-time defending champion Emory sits in first place with 127 points, while Denison is in third with 99 points.
"The key is they are swimming really well, even if they're not winning, our kids are in the hunt to win races," said head coach George Kennedy. "It sets the tone, that it can happen and it all took place in practice with how hard they've worked this year. But we've got six more sessions to go and we've won two, we just have to try to win each session."
Junior Ana Bogdanovski became the first two-time NCAA Champion in program history when she won the 50 Free in the third event of the night. She trailed Springfield's Kellie Pennington by 0.15 seconds after the turn but Bogdanovski beat her to the wall by 0.26 seconds to grab the title. She clocked in with a program-record time of 22.80, knocking 0.37 seconds off her own school record, and finishing just 0.14 seconds off the NCAA record. It is her second NCAA title in as many years as she was on the winning 800 Free Relay team in 2013. She is also the first swimmer in program history to medal in the 50 Free and earns First Team All-America honors with the win.
"I was excited and ready to race," said Bogdanovski. "I think winning the 50 is a good sign for the 100. I think this was the race that was the most up in the air for me, so I think it's a good sign. I also think it sets the tone for the rest of the team that it is possible to do something great here."
Pilar Shimizu, Kylie Ternes, Sarah Rinsma and Taylor Kitayama won the 200 Medley Relay.
Hopkins then wrapped up the night with gold in the 200 Medley Relay and another school record with a program record of 1:41.94. One year after earning the program's first-ever NCAA relay title (800 Free) in come-from-behind fashion, Hopkins led wire-to-wire in winning the 200 Medley Relay by nearly half a second. Senior Taylor Kitayama led off the relay with a 25.00 split in the 50 Back, giving the Blue Jays' a 0.80 second lead. Freshman Pilar Shimizu, the only non-senior on the relay, followed with a 28.85 split in the Breast. Ternes then turned in a 24.89 in the Fly and Rinsma wrapped up the title with an anchor leg of 23.20. For Kitayama and Rinsma, it is their second NCAA relay title as they swam on last year's winning 800 Free Relay team. The Blue Jays also knocked three-tenths of a second off their record in the win and earned First Team All-America honors.
"It feels incredible, especially as seniors to have three of us on that relay," Ternes said. "But also knowing that we have a freshman on the relay, it's nice as seniors and co-captains, to know that we have someone to keep it going once we leave."
"It's amazing to see how far we've come as a team and as seniors," Rinsma said. "Four years of building this team up, I can't wait to see where it goes after this meet."
Junior Sammi Fox opened the first night of the four-day championship with a fourth-place finish in the 200 IM. She finished in 2:04.10 to grab First Team All-America honors. Her finals time is the third fastest in program history, while her prelim time (2:04.06) is the second fastest.
Hopkins returns to action on Thursday, March 20 at the IU Natatorium. Thursday's morning session will begin at 10:00 am with the 200 Free Relay. The finals are slated to begin at 6:00 pm.