Green Wave Swimming and Diving completes final five meets

Jude Papillion, Staff Reporter

Since the 2019 Phill Hansel Invitational, the Green Wave women’s swimming and diving team has competed in five events including the 2019 Toyota U.S. Open Championships and the American Athletic Conference Championships. 

The 2019 Toyota U.S. Open Championships were held at the McAuley Aquatic Center at Georgia Institute of Technology from Dec. 4-7, 2019, and featured some of the world’s most elite swimmers, including Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky. 

The swimmers for the Green Wave were Lilly Byrne, Noa Heron, Madison Cummings, Olivia Johnson, Kate McDonald and Jordan Morling. Byrne was the only swimmer to compete for the Green Wave on the first day of the meet, finishing 51st overall in the 800-meter freestyle.

On the second day, Johnson finished 27th in the 200-meter freestyle, meeting her second qualifying standard for the 2020 Olympic Trials. Johnson also finished 42nd in the 400-meter freestyle. Byrne and Heron also competed in the 400-meter freestyle, finishing 55th and 72nd respectively. McDonald finished the 200-meter individual medley with a personal-best time of 2:19.59.

On day three, Johnson finished 12th in the 400-meter individual medley with a personal-best time of 4:45.22, finishing within a second of Ledecky. McDonald finished just shy of an Olympic Trial-qualifying time in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:11.16. Byrne also finished the 200-meter freestyle with a personal-best of 2:04.79.

On the final day of the meet, Johnson and Byrne finished 22nd and 35th respectively in the 1500-meter freestyle. In addition, McDonald finished 33rd in the 200-meter breaststroke, and Morling finished 66th in the 200-meter backstroke. 

The Green Wave next participated in a quad meet hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University on  Jan. 4. The team had a strong showing in the 400 IM, with four Tulane swimmers finishing in the top six, in addition to wins in the 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke. Tulane defeated Illinois State 180-32, fell to Liberty 131-92 and tied FGCU 112-112. 

The team then traveled to Pensacola, Florida, to face West Florida University and Hendrix College on Jan. 10, where the Green Wave posted nine first-place performances and defeated both schools 181-119 and 245-30, respectively. 

On Jan. 25, Southern Methodist University traveled to New Orleans to face the Green Wave. Tulane lost in a close meet on Senior Day at Reily Student Recreation Center 153-147. McDonald led the Green Wave with three victories.

 

The Green Wave concluded its season in the American Athletic Conference Championships in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center Natatorium at the University of Houston from Feb. 19-22. Tulane’s relay teams had an impressive performance on day one, finishing third in the 800-yard freestyle relay and fifth in the 200-yard medley relay.

On the meet’s second day, Byrne and Johnson finished second and fourth, respectively, in the 500 freestyle, and McDonald finished third and Morling finished 11th in the 200 IM.

On day three, Johnson won the 400-yard IM with a school record 4:07.72. Morling finished third in the same event, finishing nearly eleven seconds later at 4:18.31. McDonald also finished second in the 100-yard backstroke, less than a half second away from claiming the school record.

The final day of the meet, Byrne and Johnson finished second and third respectively in the 1650-yard freestyle. McDonald also finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke, followed by Courtney Barker and Morling who finished in fifth place in the 100-yard free and seventh in the 200-yard backstroke respectively.

Green Wave swimming and diving finished fifth in the AAC Championships with 456 points, and Byrne was named AAC Freshman of the Year following the meet. The team will next participate in the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America Invitational from March 12-14 and will conclude their season at the NCAA Championships from March 18-21.