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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Two women swimmers capture gold

 
 

In West Lafayette, Ind. this past weekend, the Texas A&M women’s swimming and diving team finished sixth at the National Championships at Purdue University.

The sixth place finish was the second highest in the program’s history only behind the fourth place finish accomplished in 2008.
Two Aggies, seniors Julia Wilkinson and Alia Atkinson, won gold medals at the meet, the first time Aggie women have accomplished such a feat.
“That was incredibly sweet to watch for me as a coach,” said A&M Head swimming Coach Steve Bultman. “Seeing Julia win our first-ever national title and then doing it again with Alia was awesome to watch. Going into the meet we knew they had a chance to win, but having a chance and actually doing it are different things. You know it can happen but to see them pull it off was exciting and fun to see.”
Wilkinson’s win came in the 100-yard freestyle where she finished in 47.16. Atkinson followed by swimming a 2:07.38 in the 200-yard breaststroke to complete the A&M gold rush.
The University of Florida ended the weekend with 382 points to capture the team national championship. Stanford and California rounded out the top three. A&M finished with a team total of 311 points.
“We would have loved to bring home some hardware, but I was proud of the way the team competed throughout the meet,” Bultman said. “It was an incredibly close NCAA meet with six teams that really separated from the rest of the pack. We were solidly in sixth place and only 71 points out of first place, so that was very exciting for our program.”
The win for Wilkinson was the icing on what has been an illustrious career at A&M. The Canadian native finished her four years with 23 All-America citations and 19 Big 12 Championships. The win was especially bittersweet after missing last season due to a shoulder injury.
“I’ve been waiting for this day for two years,”Wilkinson said.”It was pretty spectacular to hit the wall and hear my name; [because] last year was pretty rough.”
Atkinson finishes her career with 19 All-America citations and 10 Big 12 Championships.
Senior Kristin Heiss also capped off her career at A&M with a respectable showing at the meet finishing sixth in the 200-yard backstroke.

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