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NCAA Swimming and Diving : Mitchell Leads Texas to Fourth Straight Title

March 22, 1987|Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Junior Betsy Mitchell, the world record-holder in the 200-meter backstroke, defended her college championship and claimed the U.S. Open and NCAA records in the event Saturday as Texas won its fourth straight NCAA Division I women's swimming and diving championship.

Mitchell, voted the NCAA swimmer of the year for her performances at the Indiana University Natatorium, had a time of 1 minute 55.16 seconds in winning her fifth NCAA individual title and her third here. Freshman Andrea Hayes of Texas was second in 1:47.84, just under the NCAA mark set by her teammate last year.

The Lady Longhorns accumulated 648 1/2 points, edging Stanford, which finished with 631 1/2. Florida, runner-up the past two years, finished third with 315, followed by California with 294 and Clemson at 243.

Mitchell, the U.S. swimmer of the year in 1986, finished first in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke earlier in the meet.

The 22-year-old found herself trailing Stanford's Michelle Donahue after 50 yards in Saturday's event, but she took the lead for good with some 120 yards to go.

Mitchell, who has a street named after her in her hometown of Marietta, Ohio, was nearly two seconds faster than the former U.S. Open mark of 1:57.02 set by Tracy Caulkins on April 8, 1981.

Olympic gold medalist Mary T. Meagher of California, who skipped college competition to prepare for the 1984 Olympics, claimed her fourth NCAA title in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:55.54. Kara McGrath of Texas was second in 1:57.36.

Meagher, 22, who set the world butterly records for 100 and 200 meters back in 1979 when she was in high school at Louisville, Ky., ended her college career with six NCAA individual championships.

Sophomore Tami Bruce successfully defended her championship in the 1,650 freestyle, taking the lead from runner-up Patty Sabo of Texas about 750 yards into the race and building her lead with each lap to finish in 16:02.15--more than eight seconds ahead of Sabo.

Stanford sophomore Jenna Johnson was another successful defending champion, taking the 100 freestyle in 48.82 with Cardinal teammate Aimee Berzins second in 49.55. It was the fifth NCAA individual championship for the 1984 Olympian, who won two golds on relay teams and also won a silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly.

Senior Susie Rapp of Stanford, the 1984 NCAA champion in the 200 breaststroke, won the event for the second time and set an NCAA record of 2:11.93, with 100 breaststroke champion Tracey McFarlane of Texas finishing second. Stanford set a U.S. Open and NCAA record in winning the 400 freestyle relay in 3:17.69. Johnson teamed with Laurie McLean, Rapp and Aimee Berzins to claim the records set by Florida in 1984.

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