INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Purdue junior Allie Smith scored in the 100-meter backstroke Wednesday at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Indianapolis.
“This was a great experience for Allie to race at the national level,” head coach John Klinge said. “It’s exciting that she was able to score at her first national championships.”
Smith put herself in scoring position during the morning’s preliminary session by touching the wall in 1:02.49 and placing 16th. The Green Bay, Wis., native then stopped the clock in 1:03.03 to finish eighth in the ‘B’ final during the evening session. Smith holds individual Purdue records in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard IM and also led off the fastest 400-yard medley relay in school history.
Sophomore Lauren Roth opened the meet Tuesday with a 26th-place swim in the 400-meter freestyle after stopping the clock in 4:18.90. The Carrollton, Texas, native returned to the pool Wednesday and swam a time of 2:05.47 in the 200 freestyle. Earlier this year, Roth broke Purdue freshman records in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly on consecutive days.
Incoming freshman Caitlin Hamilton also swam the 400-meter freestyle on Tuesday. The Normal, Ill., native, who won the state championship in the 500-yard freestyle earlier this year, completed Tuesday’s preliminary round in 4:32.22.
Junior Ariel Martin and sophomore Kristen Gilson keep Purdue’s presence in the pool for the rest of the week. Martin, who holds the school record in the 50-yard freestyle, takes on the 50-meter freestyle field Thursday. Gilson, Purdue’s freshman record holder in the 400-yard IM, is set to swim the 200-meter backstroke Friday.
The meet, held at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI, also serves as the qualifier for the World Championships. The top-two finishers in each event will represent the USA at the FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy, July 17-Aug. 2.