Tara Kirk Breaks American Record And No. 1 Women's Swimming And Diving Stays On Top At Pac-10 Championships

March 1, 2002

Long Beach, Calif./Tucson, Ariz. - Sophomore Tara Kirk set a new American record in the 100 yard breast with a time of 58.68 and No. 1 Stanford remained on top of the team standings on the second day of competition at the 2002 Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. Kirk's mark also set new NCAA, Pac-10, Pac-10 Meet and Stanford records.

'An American record is a really great accomplishment for Tara Kirk,' said Stanford head coach Richard Quick. 'It was an extraordinary swim. I'm really pleased that we're winning the Pac-10 Championships after the first two days of competition. But, I think our best swimming is still in front of us at the NCAA Championships.'

Shelly Ripple was Stanford's other individual winner on Friday, picking up her second individual title of the meet with a victory in the 100 yard fly, recording a time of 52.16 in the event.

California's Natalie Coughlin also set a new American record in the 100 back with a time of 50.71. Coughlin picked up another individual victory in the 200 free (1:43.30).Other individual winners were USC's Michala Kwasny (4:09.48) in the 400 IM and Nicci Fusaro in 3-meter diving (521.10).

California won the 200 medley relay and set a new Pac-10 Meet record (1:39.20) with a team of Coughlin, Staciana Stitts, Alice Henriques and Michelle Harper. Arizona captured the 800 free relay and set a new Pac-10 Meet record (7:10.14) with a team of Jessica Hayes, Emily Mason, Katie Zimbone and Sarah Tolar.

Jessica Foschi (1:46.75) and Lacey Boutwell (1:51.73) both swam in the championship final of the 200 free, finishing third and eighth. Kirsten Gilbert joined Kirk in the championship final of the 100 breast and finished eighth with a time of 1:02.90, while Amy Wagner earned a spot in the championship final of the 100 back and finished seventh with a time of 55.20.Four others scored in the 100 back - Alexis Oakland (10th, 55.94), Megan Baumgartner (11th, 56.06), Haley Champion (16th, 58.47) and Sarah Jones (17th, 56.48). Evins Cameron (10th, 4:20.22) and Tenley Bick (4:24.07) scored for the Cardinal in the 400 IM. Amy Wagner (19th, 56.54) and Haley Champion (22nd, 56.90) picked up points in the 100 fly, while Emily Carter (20th, 1:05.69) scored in the 100 breast.

Stanford finished second and third in the day's two relay events. The Cardinal was second in the 200 medley relay as a team of Wagner, Kirk, Boutwell and Sarah Watchorn clocked in at 1:39.88. Stanford finished third in the 800 free relay (7:16.05) with a squad of Ripple, Tami Ransom, Watchorn and Foschi.

Stanford made another strong showing in the diving competition as McKenze Murphy led seven scoring Stanford divers with a fifth-place finish (483.60). Ashlee Rosenthal (474.35) and Erica Sorgi (469.20) also advanced to the final round, finishing sixth and seventh. Alexis Sowa placed 11th with a score of 424.85 in the semifinals, followed by Lauren Donovan (13th, 418.05), Katie Berglund (15th, 412.35) and Erin Lashnits (23rd, 327.25).

The Cardinal sits atop the standings after two days of competition with 916 points, followed by USC (792.5), California (765), Arizona (740), UCLA (664.5), Arizona State (539.5), Washington (319.5), Oregon State (318) and Washington State (301).

The 2002 Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships conclude with the final day of competition on Saturday, March 2. The swimming competition is being held at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, California. The diving events are being held at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center in Tucson, Arizona.

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