Annie Chandler worked toward one goal through her four years at University of Arizona. She wanted a national title in the 100 Breaststroke event.
Chandler, an All-American swimmer and NCAA relay champion, finally captured the individual NCAA title in the 100 Breast and broke the NCAA and NCAA meet record in the process with an impressive time of 58.06.
She also just missed winning her second individual title when she finished third overall in the 200 Breaststroke at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships at Purdue University over the weekend. Her time of 2:07.68 set a new school record that had been held by one of today’s most recognizable Olympians, Amanda Beard.
The Wildcats needed Chandler’s help in a very tight finish to this year’s three-day event. The top five teams going into the final day of the Championships were separated by just 10 points.
UA moved into first place when Caitlin Iversen and Ana Agy took seventh and eight places respectively in the championship heat of the 200 Backstroke, hitting 1:54.14 and 1:54.54. In the consolation heat, Erin Campbell placed third, Jenny Forster fourth, and Hannah Ross sixth. The collective point total gave the Cats their first lead in the event.
A runner-up finish in the 100 Freestyle consolation event by Justine Schluntz (48.39) enabled UA to hold on to first place – until the 200 Fly when Stanford won the championship heat and slipped past the Cats.
From there, the Cats dropped to their fourth-place finish. They scored 359.95 points, behind first-place Florida (382), Stanford (379.5), and California (363).
The Cats turned out to be over-achievers this year, as they had not been expected to be in the running on the final day. But besides their fourth-place national finish, the women brought home not only Chandler’s national title in the 100 Breaststroke, but also titles in the 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay, where Chandler joined with Schluntz, Campbell, and Emma Darlington to set a pool record with a time of 1:36.61.
The win in the 200 medley relay is Arizona’s third in four years, moving it into a tie with Georgia and Texas on the all-time list of wins for that event.