USC Swims Into Second Place In Pac-10 Championship Action

March 1, 2002

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Two American records fell in the second day of competition at the Pacific-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach as Stanford pulled away from the rest of the field on Friday.

Stanford gained 916 points through 14 events, extending its lead over second-place USC (792.5). California fell from second to third place, with 765 points overall. Fourth place belonged to Arizona (740), followed in order by reigning Pac-10 Champion UCLA (664.5), Arizona State (539.5), Washington (319.5), Oregon State (318) and Washington State (301).

Stanford's Tara Kirk and Cal's Natalie Coughlin were the top performers of the night, each posting new American records. Kirk swam a 58.68 in the 100y breast, besting the old American record of 59.05. Defending her title in the event, Kirk also broke the meet, Pac-10 and NCAA records. In the very next event, Coughlin broke her own American record (50.90) in the 100y back by posting a mark of 50.71. Coughlin also earned first-place points for Cal by winning the 200y free (1:43.30) and setting new meet and Pac-10 records in the event.

Host USC also performed well in the second day of competition. USC junior Michala Kwasny defended her title in the 400y IM (4:09.48), helping the Trojans overtake Cal for second place in the meet. Troy's Kaitlin Sandeno finished sixth in the event (4:20.03). Also performing well for the Trojans was Jana Krohn, who earned a third-place finish in the 100y fly (54.40). USC's Joanna Fargus and Katie Meyer claimed second and fourth place finishes in the 100y back, posting times of 54.07 and 54.98 respectively.

In the 100y fly, Stanford's Shelly Ripple earned her second victory in two nights, posting a time of 52.16. Ripple won the 200y IM in last night's competition.

Meet records fell in both of the evening's relay events. In the 200y medley relay, California defended its title with a mark of 1:39.20. The team broke the meet record of 1:39.27 that it had set in last year's competition. In the final event of the night, Arizona edged out USC and set a new meet record in the 800y free relay, with the teams swimming 7:10:14 and 7:13.23. Stanford had held the previous meet record of 7:10.28.

In the diving events, which are being held at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center in Arizona, USC swept the top three spots in the 3-meter springboard competition. Nicci Fusaro, Blythe Hartley and Kellie Brennan finished 1-2-3 for the Trojans.

The Swimming Championships conclude on Saturday (Mar. 2) in Long Beach. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. and finals start at 6 p.m.

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