March 25, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Kaleigh Ritter concluded an outstanding sophomore season in the 500 and 1,650 yard freestyle events on Saturday, March 22nd at the Women’s NCAA Championship Meet at the Minnesota Aquatic Center. The only Panther representative at the national competition, Ritter broke the school record in the 500 yard freestyle and finished 27th overall in the 1,650 free event.
“This season was amazing,” Ritter exclaimed. “It was a great opportunity to compete at the NCAA Championship Meet, but it was also a very humbling experience. It showed me that I still have a lot of work to do. Now, I’m more motivated to qualify next year and to score.”
Ritter set a new lifetime best in the 500 free, with the finish of 4:44.36, improving upon her qualifying time of 4:46.99, which she set at the ACC Championships in late February. The sophomore swimmer broke former teammate Kelsey Herbst’s previous record time 4:45.82 (2013 Big East Championships).
Though she has only been competing at Pitt for two years, Ritter currently holds the most school records on the University of Pittsburgh Swimming and Diving team. Ritter owns individual records in the 500, 1,000 and 1650 freestyle events. She also assisted in setting the 800 freestyle relay record at this year’s ACC Championship Meet.
Ritter swam her way into the record books twice at AT&T Winter Nationals in early December. She sped through the 1,000 freestyle with a time of 9:51.67, placing her in the top-20, and finished 9th overall in the 1,650 freestyle (16:15.02).
“We are very proud of all the success Kaleigh has had this past season,” Head Coach Chuck Knoles said. “She dropped 25 seconds in her 1,650 freestyle this year, 11 seconds off her 1,000 freestyle and knocked off six seconds total in her 500 freestyle. That is quite an accomplishment!”