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Three College Swimmers Make History At NCAA Championship

African-American swimmers took the top three finishes in a single event at NCAA Swimming Championships this weekend.
Lia Neal
Lia Neal,of Stanford, watches after Stanford won the 400-yard medley relay at the NCAA women's Division I swimming and diving championships in Minneapolis, Thursday, March 20, 2014.(AP Photo/Andy King)AP

African-American swimmers took the top three finishes in a single event at the Women’s Division 1 NCAA Championship this weekend, a feat recognized by the national governing body of swimming in the United States with a celebratory tweet.

Freshman phenom Simone Manuel of Stanford set an NCAA, American, U.S. Open, Championship and Pool record when she clocked a time of 46.09 in the women’s 100 yard freestyle.

Manuel’s Stanford teammate Lia Neal came in second place with a time of 47.13. (Fans may recall that Neal won a bronze medal in the 4x100 free relay at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.)

The University of Florida’s Natalie Hinds swam a time of 47.24. Hinds reset her own-school record in the event during competition.

Teammates Manuel and Neal spoke to Swimming World magazine about their game plan before winning 400 yard freestyle relay, Neal revealing her exhaustion. "We were talking about it before the relay, we were gonna go until it hurt. If it hurt that meant that we were doing something right," she said.

Neal led the first leg of the race and Manuel anchored it, breaking the American record in the relay by 2 seconds and the US Open/NCAA Record by a full second.