Babbin's 500 free highlights four records on day two of SEC's

Feb. 19, 2014

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ATHENS, Ga. - The Vanderbilt women's swim team picked up right where it left off yesterday, setting four school records in four swims. After two days of action at the 2014 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships, the Commodores sit in 12th place, just 15 points behind South Carolina.

Vandy opened the prelim session with four swimmers going in the 500-yard freestyle. Freshmen Kathryn Babbin led the group, swimming an all-time personal best and setting the school mark with a time of 4:55.51. She turned it on in the final 50 yards, swimming her fastest split, at a time of 29.05. The 500 free had been the oldest record in the book, at 24 years old, before Babbin set her mark.

One heat later, Carrie Bencic made a run at Babbin's record, but came up just 24-hundredths shy of the mark, finishing at a time of 4:55.75.

Seniors Margaux Georgiadis and Michelle Williamson rounded out the 500 free group, finishing with times of 5:07.60 and 5:08.44, respectively.

The Commodores had four entries in the 200-yard IM, led by junior Elly Faulkner, who came into the event looking to chase down her school record set earlier this year and land a spot in the finals session. Unfortunately, Faulkner's race did not go as planned. Her goggles came off at the start, and swimming blind for the majority of the race, she was forced to pull up short.

Faulkner did get redemption in her 200 IM time trials. Swimming at much of the same pace as she did during her race, the junior finished at a time of 2:00.67, dropping her previous school record time by more than two seconds. Her time would have been good for the last spot in the C final.

Both Rachel Koch and Alexis Mayhall swam season best times in the 200 IM at 2:08.35 and 2:10.46, respectively. Alexandra Blankenburg swam an all-time best 2:04.91 in her 200 IM swim.

The `Dores closed out the morning session with the 50 freestyle, breaking the school record mark twice.

Christina Wang and Melissa Roberts opened the 50 free for Vanderbilt breaking their own personal best times, finishing at 23.80 and 24.41, respectively.

Caroline Thomas followed that up, breaking her own school record, going 23.49. However, that record would not stand for long. Kayla Moran was the final Commodore to swim the 50. The freshman touched the wall just one-hundredth of a second faster than Thomas, upping the 50 free record to 23.48.

The difference in the two swims came down to the reaction off the blocks, as Moran came off at .69, while Thomas came off at .70.

Vanderbilt capped day two of the SEC Championships swimming the 200-yard freestyle relay.

The team of Wang, Moran, Thomas and Hannah Martin broke the fourth and final school record of the day, finishing at time of 1:33.59.

Thursday's action will feature the 400 IM, 100 fly, women's 3-meter and the 200-yard freestyle.



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