USC Women Finish Second At Pac-10 Swimming And Diving Championships

March 2, 2002

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Stanford continued its dominance in the final night of competition at the Pacific-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships by winning two of the night's five individual events, securing the title at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach on Saturday.

Stanford took the conference crown with a total of 1320.5 points. In a close battle for second, USC (1197.5) held off eventual third-place finisher Arizona (1151.5). Cal fell to fourth place overall (1096), edging out defending conference champion UCLA (1064). Sixth place belonged to Arizona State (818.5), followed in order by Oregon State (477), Washington (449.5) and Washington State (401.5).

Though the team didn't take any first-place finishes in the final night of competition, host USC was able to hold off a charging Arizona team with its depth, evident in the 200y back and the 200y fly. In the 200y back, teammates Joanna Fargus and Katie Meyer earning second (1:54.66) and fifth (1:57.44) place finishes. Troy's Michala Kwasny and Kaitlin Sandeno finished fourth (1:57.33) and fifth (1:59.29) in the 200y fly. Sophomore Melissa Deary started the Trojans off well, earning third-place points for USC in the evening's first event, the 1650y free (16:25.96). Junior Jenny Parmenter also earned points for the Trojans by swimming a 50.41 in the 100y free, good enough for seventh place overall. The Trojans finished out the meet by beating Cal for third place in the 400y free relay (3:20.26).

In the first event of the evening, Stanford's Jessica Foschi set the tone for the Cardinal by defending her title in the 1650y free, with a time of 16:08.46. This was the senior's third win in this event in as many years. Also earning first-place points for Stanford was senior Shelly Ripple. Ripple set a meet record in the 200y fly (1:53.50), after already winning the 110y fly and 200y IM in the previous nights' competition.

The final night of competition also saw another American record fall, after two were broken in Friday's events. Cal's Natalie Coughlin swam a 1:50.90 in the 200y back, breaking her own American record of 1:51.02 and defending her title in the event. This was the sophomore's second American record at the meet, after breaking her old record in the 100y back on Friday.

Coming on strong in Saturday's finals and moving up a spot in the overall standings was Arizona, which equaled Stanford on the night by winning two events. A victory in the 100y free (49.32) by senior Sarah Tolar allowed the Wildcats to take over third place from Cal after just three events. Arizona cemented its third-place finish by defending its title in the final event of the night, the 400y free relay (3:17.91).

In other action, Arizona State's Agnes Kovacs beat the defending champion, Stanford's Tara Kirk, and set a meet and Pac-10 record in the 200y breast by swimming a 2:07.75. Kirk finished second with a 2:07.79, while UCLA's Elvira Fischer took third (2:10.86).

The final day of diving action, which was held at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center in Arizona, saw USC go 1-2 in the platform event. Nicci Fusaro finished first for the Trojans with 474.60 points, while teammate Blythe Hartley took second-place honors with 463.95 points. UCLA's Regan Gosnell finished third (421.30).

Stanford, who has won the conference crown 13 of the previous 15 years, regains the top-spot after coming in second to Arizona in 2000 and finishing fourth in 2001.

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