After multiple record-setting swims at the ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, Pitt junior Lina Rathsack parlayed that momentum into national recognition at the 2017 NCAA Championships.
Rathsack earned all four of the Pitt swimming and diving team’s points at the national championships this weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. With a time of 59.52 seconds in her qualifying heat in the 100-meter breaststroke Friday, Rathsack earned All-American Honorable Mention status and a new school record.
She then broke her own record later that night, racing to a time of 59.00 seconds in the consolation finals to finish in 13th place. Rathsack, who was the highest-ranked Panther of the weekend, is just the third Pitt woman to earn All-American status in the breaststroke and the first since Jan Ujevich in 1980.
“We’re extremely proud of Lina for her incredible accomplishment today,” Pitt head coach John Hargis said Friday night in a press release.
Pitt’s team — represented by juniors Amanda Richey and Meme Sharp and senior Kinga Cichowska in addition to Rathsack — finished in the top 30 in five events and ended the competition in 41st out of 49 teams at the NCAA championship meet in Indianapolis.
In addition to the 100 breaststroke, Rathsack finished 30th in the 200 breast with a time of 2:11.45 Saturday and 60th in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:01.12 Thursday.
Distance swimmer Richey had her best performance of the weekend Saturday in the 1650 freestyle. She swam the mile in 16:15.34, good for 23rd place. Additionally, Richey swam her way into 29th place in the 500 freestyle Thursday with a career-best time of 4:41.34, just a few tenths off of the school record in the event. She swam the 400 IM Friday in 4:18.65, good for 49th place.
Cichowska wrapped up her Pitt swimming career this weekend with races in the 100 and 200 breast. Cichowska took 42nd in the 100 with a time of 1:01.32 Friday and 39th in the 200 with a 2:11.83 Saturday.
Sharp, the sole diver sent by the Panthers to Indianapolis, competed in the one- and three-meter springboard competitions. She scored a six-dive total of 261.05 to finish in 23rd on Friday in the one-meter. She did not fare as well the next day, finishing 38th with a six-dive score of 269.0 in the three-meter.
On the men’s team, Dominic Giordano will compete in the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship March 23 and 25. He will look to defend his three-meter springboard diving championship in the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.