AUSTIN, Texas - Senior Meredith Budner finished third in the preliminaries of the 500-yard freestyle as the Tigers began their competition at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the Texas Swimming Center on Thursday afternoon.
Budner, who finished eighth at last year's NCAA Meet in the event, broke her own school record in the event by posting a time of 4:35.58, which is the ninth-fastest time in NCAA Division I history. Junior Allison Schmitt of the University of Georgia will be the top seed in Thursday night's championship final after setting an NCAA record in the preliminaries with a time of 4:32.71.
Meanwhile, senior Brooke Golden finished 34th in the preliminaries by posting a time of 4:44.81 while senior Kayla Zeller was 48th in the event with a time of 4:46.57.
In addition, junior Cari Czarnecki placed 24th in the preliminaries of the 200-yard individual medley by breaking her own school record with a time of 1:59.13.
The championship finals session will begin on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Eastern.