Bouchard, Stafford Claim Titles on Final Day of Big 12 Championships
COLUMBIA -- Senior Shara Stafford and junior Dominique Bouchard both claimed individual titles as the University of Missouri women's swimming and diving team concluded competition at the 2012 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships in third place with 630 points. Stafford also earned Big 12 Women's Newcomer of the Meet for her performance during the Championships.
Overall, the meet was the most successful Big 12 Championships ever for the Tigers, as Mizzou claimed three individual swimming titles and its first-ever relay championship. Mizzou entered the 2012 meet with four total individual swimming titles from 1997-2011. Over the last two seasons under Head Coach Greg Rhodenbaugh, the Tigers have won five total swimming titles and one diving title, compared to three swimming titles and one diving title the previous 14 years.
Bouchard got the Tigers rolling early as the junior earned her second consecutive 200 back title as she swam a 1:53.31, more than one second ahead of the rest of the field. Cassie Cunningham finished in seventh place with a 2:00.91. Additionally, Brigette Selbert clocked a fourth place finish in the consolation final in 2:02.37.
Stafford took home her second Big 12 title of the Championships as she outstretched defending champion Karlee Bispo of Texas in the 100 free, 47.96 to 47.97. Stafford broke her own Mizzou record and was the fifth-fastest time in the nation so far this year. In the consolation finals, Emily Doucette finished third in 50.87, Sydney Schaefer was fourth in 51.20 and Lisa Nathanson sixth with a 51.56.
The Tigers also had sixth and seventh place in the 200 breast. Emy DeBenigno clocked a 2:14.84 to take sixth, while Rachel Ripley took seventh (2:15.12). Dani Spradlin finished in fifth in the consolation finals with a 2:18.36 and Courtney Rhodenbaugh was sixth with a 2:20.18.
In the 200 fly consolation finals, Tasha Truscott earned second place with a 2:03.79 and Lexi Spivak was sixth as she swam a 2:06.96. Additionally, Stephanie Rovig claimed 10th place in the 1650 free with a time of 17:07.74.
In the diving well, Christina Gailey claimed fifth place on the platform with a score of 256.15. Lauren Callin just missed platform finals as she notched a 208.70 in the preliminaries to finish in ninth place.
The team of Emily Doucette, Bouchard, Lisa Nathanson and Sydney Schaefer finished third in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:22.04 to close out the night's competition.
Divers next compete at the Diving Zone Championships held in Iowa City, Iowa, March 8-10, while swimmers who have qualified for the NCAA Championships will travel to Auburn, Alabama, for the event March 15-17.