Zais finishes 15th in country during 100 breast at NCAA Championship

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Wheaton College women's swimming senior Nicole Zais (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) turned in her highest individual placement at an NCAA Championship meet on Friday night at the University of Tennessee's Jones Aquatic Center, finishing 15th during the 100-yard breaststroke to earn All-America honorable mention honors.

The accolade marks Zais' second in three seasons, as she swam a leg as part of the 2009 200-yard freestyle relay team that picked up the program's first All-America honorable mention laurels.

Zais broke school records four times today, starting with this morning's preliminaries, where she took 12th during the 100-yard breast in 1:04.23.  That bettered her 2009 program mark by a full second.  During that race, Zais swam the first 50 yards in 29.90, which was 0.56 ticks faster than her previous best set at last month's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship.

At this evening's consolation final, Zais' 15th-place 100-yard breast time of 1:04.70 provided Wheaton with two team points, which tied for 49th nationally heading into the championship's final day on Saturday.  During the first leg of the 100-yard breast, Zais bettered her 50-yard trials time by 0.03 seconds, touching the wall in 29.87.

Zais will compete in her final event of the meet tomorrow, the 200-yard breast, where she enters with the nation's fifth-fastest time of 2:19.35.  That time was a national meet automatic qualifying standard, the first in Wheaton women's swimming & diving history.

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