Senior Rocket swimmers Claire Leichty and Laura Lindsay put an exclamation point on their athletic careers in the Midnight Blue and Gold, representing The University of Toledo at the 2012 NCAA Championships at Auburn University in Alabama.Both student-athletes put forth respectable performances in two events, headlined by Lindsay being named an All-American for the second year in a row.
After tying for 15th place in the prelims of the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:00.23, Lindsay won the consolation final in a time of 59.61 to take ninth place overall. The finish was good enough to earn an “A” cut, the first time a UT swimmer has accomplished an NCAA “A” cut in school history.
As a top-15 finisher, she earned All-American accolades that topped her 12th-place finish at the NCAA meet a year ago.
“Being in Auburn has been a fantastic experience,” Lindsay said. “This has made me so thankful for these past four years. I thought the MAC Championship was the cherry on top to end my senior year, but this week has definitely been the additional sprinkles.”
Lindsay just missed advancing to the finals in the 200 breaststroke, finishing in 17th place in a time of 2:10.73, just 0.14 seconds behind the final qualifying spot.
Leichty was the first of the Rocket swimmers to compete, placing 47th in the 500 freestyle prelims with a time of 4:48.45.
She also placed 30th in the 1650 freestyle, in a time of 16:31.82.
“It was a great experience being here, and I couldn’t have asked for a better senior year from myself or my teammates,” Leichty said. “I’m so proud of my whole team for performing well and winning the MAC Championship. This has been an amazing four years, and I will truly miss it all. I am thankful for all the support from my teammates, coaches, parents and fans.”
The respectable performances at nationals by Leichty and Lindsay put a bow on top of a tremendous season for the Toledo swimming and diving program, which captured the second conference championship in three years and second in school history under the guidance of second-year Head Coach Liz Hinkleman.
“The girls competed hard this week, and I am very proud of them both,” Hinkleman said. “It is a great experience to compete against the best swimmers in the nation, and we hope to have many more NCAA qualifiers in the future.”