Butterfly specialist Kara Kopcso
Chris Parent

Women's Team Set For NCAA Championships

Fraser McAlpine
Fraser McAlpine
Communications Student Assistant

INDIANAPOLIS -- Four members of the LSU swimming and diving team are slated to compete at the 2017 Women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships March 15-18 at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.

Three senior swimmers Kara Kopcso, Colleen O'Neil, and Leah Troskot will conclude their careers in their final meet. Sophomore diver Lizzie Cui rounds out the group after qualifying for three events at the NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Regionals in Missouri.

“We’re excited for the opportunity ahead for the three senior swimmers here. They have plenty of experience heading into this meet, and the goal is that they can finish out their collegiate career with personal bests,” said head swimming coach Dave Geyer.

Competition gets underway on Wednesday with the 800 free relay at 5 p.m. CT. The first full day of championships will begin on Thursday with prelim heats starting each day at 9 a.m. CT and finals following at 5 p.m. CT.

Fans can stream the championship finals sessions live each Friday and Saturday on the WatchESPN app. Thursday's sessions along with the morning sessions on Friday and Saturday will be streamed live on www.ncaa.com and www.indianasportscorp.org/ncaasd

Kara Kopcso qualified for her fourth consecutive NCAA Championships in both the 100 and 200 fly and is also slated to compete in the 200 IM.

Kopcso boasts the 17th-fastest time in the nation in the 200 fly, clocking at 1:55.66 and owns the 31st-fastest time in the county in the 100 fly with a time of 52.34.

A native of Mandeville, Louisiana, Kopcso holds the school records in the 100 fly (52.07), 200 fly (1:54.46) and 200 IM (1:56.55). During her sophomore campaign, Kopcso also received NCAA All-America Honorable Mention accolades in the 200 fly after placing 12th overall.

O’Neil picked up her third-straight berth at NCAA’s, qualifying in the 100 breaststroke with an impressive time of 1:00.18 in the ‘A’ final at SEC’s for fifth place and the 33rd-best time in the country. O’Neil holds the second-fastest time in school history in the 100 breast at 59.86, becoming just the second female swimmer to go under a minute in the event.

O’Neil is also slated to compete in the 200 IM and the 200 breaststroke. The Massachusetts native broke the school record in the 200 breaststroke this season at the 2016 Art Adamson Invitational with a time of 2:11.64.

Troskot qualified for the 100 free, posting a time of 48.53 to make her third appearance at NCAA’s. At last year’s championships, Troskot earned Honorable Mention All-America honors after placing 13th overall to become the program’s fifth All-American in the event. A native of Canada, Troskot is also slated to compete in the 50 and 200 free.

During her tenure, Troskot has also posted top-four times in the 50, 100 and 200 free. This season, her times in the 100 and 200 free (1:45.81) were good for top-10 times in the Southeastern Conference.

For the diving squad, Lizzie Cui took the NCAA Zone Diving Regionals by storm, earning qualifying spots on both springboards and platform.

Cui, a native of New Zealand, compiled scores in the top-eight in all three events at Zones, including a second-place finish on the three-meter springboard.

Last season, Cui qualified on both one and three-meter in the championships, becoming the program’s 23rd All-American on three-meter after notching a 14th-place finish in the event.

“We are very ready for this competition. We have trained all year in preparation for NCAA’s, and the IUPUI Natatorium is a beautiful facility with a rich history of hosting elite aquatic events, adding to the excitement of the championships,” said head diving coach Doug Shaffer.

“I’m looking forward to a great three days of competition, and I am excited for the opportunities ahead of us.”

 

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