AUSTIN, Texas - Freshman Linnea Mack moved up to third in UCLA history in the 50 Freestyle and a slew of Bruins earned NCAA 'B' qualifying times on the first day of the Texas Invitational on Thursday.
The preliminaries of the 100 Butterfly were great for the Bruins, but the evening finals were even more entertaining with some leapfrogging in the UCLA Top 8. Junior Noelle Tarazona and sophomore Katie Kinnear tied for ninth in the prelims with a 53.74 to qualify for the B Final, while Mack (54.21) was 19th, as all three posted NCAA 'B' qualifying times. Senior Ting Quah (54.53) and sophomore Arlyn Upshaw (54.72) also made the C Final, while sophomore Madison Applegate (55.11) advanced to the D Final.
All three Bruins who had NCAA 'B' times in the morning improved those marks in the evening, but it was Quah who posted the best swim of the night session. Quah and Mack went 1-2 in the C Final to finish 17th and 18th overall. Quah's 52.90 was an NCAA 'B' time and only one second shy of the NCAA 'A' mark. Mack went 53.31 to surpass Tarazona for the eighth-best mark in UCLA history.
Mack's record spot in the Top 8 of the 100 Fly lasted all of a minute, or 53.24 to be exact, as Tarazona earned her position back in the Top 8 in the B Final with a career-best time. Kinnear and Tarazona went 1-2 in that race (9th and 10th overall), as Kinnear, who was already fifth in UCLA history in the 100 Fly, had a career-best 53.02 to improve her fifth-best time.
Three more Bruins set NCAA 'B' times in the 500 Freestyle, while two set personal bests. Senior Lauren Baker (4:45.91, 9th) and sophomore Katy Campbell (4:46.27, 10th) each had NCAA 'B' marks and made the A Final, with Campbell posting a career-best time. Junior Ally Loper (4:48.27, 14th) made the B Final, while junior Monica Dornick (4:54.37, 27th) reached the C Final.
Baker bettered her NCAA 'B' time with a 4:45.03 to finish sixth overall in the A Final, while Campbell was eighth (4:48.53). Loper was 10th overall and second in the B Final with a career-best 4:46.18 (NCAA 'B' time), while Dornick won the C race with a 4:49.30.
In the 200 Individual Medley, Tarazona set NCAA 'B' times in both sessions, going 2:01.31 (16th) in the morning to qualify for the B Final and posting a 2:01.18 in the evening to place 13th overall. Upshaw set a personal best in the preliminaries with a 2:01.82 (17th), finishing 23rd overall (2:03.54) in the C Final.
Mack vaulted to third in UCLA history in the 50 Free in the evening finals with an NCAA 'B' time, while two others also set NCAA 'B' marks. Mack, who entered the race tied for eighth in the school record books in the 50 Free, moved into solo eighth in the prelims with a 22.77, which was the sixth-best time of the morning. Senior Kathryn Murphy also had an NCAA 'B' time with a 22.97 (14th) to qualify for the B Final. Quah (18th, 23.14) made the C Final, while Kinnear (36th, 23.42) reached the E Final.
Mack bettered her career-best mark in the evening with a 22.48, which was seventh in the A Final. It was also half a second behind the NCAA 'A' qualifying time and moved her up to third in UCLA history. Murphy improved her NCAA 'B' mark with a 22.74 in winning the B Final, while Quah had an NCAA 'B' time with a 22.72 to claim the C Final.
The first of the evening relays was the 200 Freestyle, as Murphy, Quah, Mack and senior Anna Senko finished sixth with a time of 1:31.35. Mack had a 50 split of 22.33, while Quah had a split of 22.42. The UCLA 'B' team of freshman Madison White, juniors Jessica Khojasteh and Taylor Carlson and senior Jesse Bergman were 10th with a time of 1:33.81.
The evening closed with the 400 Medley Relay. The foursome of White, Khojasteh, Quah and Mack posted the fifth-best finish at 3:38.20, while the quartet of Bergman, Carlson, Kinnear and Dornick were 10th (3:45.37).
Four more individual event preliminaries kick things off on Friday morning, with the 400 IM, the 200 Free, the 100 Breaststroke and the 100 Backstroke. The evening session begins with the 200 Medley Relay, followed by the four individual finals and the 800 Free Relay.