Women's Swimming And Diving In Fourth After First Day Of 2002 NCAA's

March 21, 2002

Austin, Tex. - Top-ranked Stanford is in fourth-place after the first day of competition Thursday at the 2002 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Stanford's 400 medley relay team of Amy Wagner, Tara Kirk, Shelly Ripple and Lacey Boutwell set a new American record for the Cardinal with a time of 3:31.74 in the final event of the evening.

'This is the meet that counts, and I'm glad we were able to step up and win the 400 medley relay as well as set the American record,' said Ripple, who swam the butterfly leg. 'It's easy to go fast when you're swimming for the other three members of the team.'

'I expected to go that fast in the event, and I'm proud of the record,' commented Stanford head coach Richard Quick.

Auburn leads the team competition after the first day with 153 points, followed by Georgia (127), Texas (103), Stanford (98) and Arizona (82) to round out the top five.

'There a lot of teams that still have a chance (at the team championship),' added Quick. 'We've just got to keep coming. We have some real fine events coming up in the next two days. It's going to be an uphill battle, but we just need to keep swimming.'

Four other American records were set during the first day of competition. Auburn's Maggie Bowen (200 IM, 1:53.91) and Georgia's Maritza Correia (50 free, 21.69) set new marks in individual events. Georgia's 200 free relay team (1:28.74) of Stefanie Williams, Neka Mabry, Paige Kearns and Correia set a new American mark. California's Natalie Coughlin broke the mark in the 100 back (50.57), swimming the leadoff leg of the Golden Bears' second-place 400 yard medley relay squad.

Ripple (200 IM) and Jessica Foschi (500 free) both finished second in their individual events, while the Cardinal also scored points by finishing seventh in the 200 free relay.Ripple's second-place finish in the 200 IM came with a new career-best time of 1:55.58 after tying her previous career-best to record the top time in the prelims (1:56.24).

'Maggie (Bowen) and I have been racing for a long time, and she always brings the best out of me,' said Ripple. 'I swam my career-best time so I can't be disappointed with that, even though I would obviously have liked to have won.'

Foschi finished second in her final collegiate 500 free race (4:41.10) after winning the event at the 2001 NCAA's. Southern Methodist freshman Flavia Rigamonti edged Foschi with a come-from-behind effort to win in 4:40.13. Georgia's Julie Hardt actually swam a time of 4:39.89 in the consolation finals but had to settle for ninth place after qualifying 11th in the prelims.'I was pretty happy with my effort, but my time was difficult for me,' said Foschi, who has a career best of 4:37.81 in the event.

Stanford led off the evening finals session with a seventh-place finish in the 200 free relay as a team of Boutwell, Sarah Jones, Tami Ransom and Sara Watchorn clocked in at 1:31.27.USC's Blythe Hartley won the 1-meter diving competition with a score of 350.85.Stanford had 11 other competitors in Thursday's morning prelim session.

Kirk finished 25th in the 200 IM with a career-best time of 2:01.83, followed by Ransom (44th, 2:03.50) and Alexis Oakland (58thT, 2:04.80).

Boutwell was Stanford's top prelim finisher in the 50 free, tying for 24th with a time of 23.14. Jones recorded a season-best time of 23.18 to finish 31st and Sara Watchorn clocked in with a season-best 23.26 to place 36th.

Evins Cameron placed 33rd in the 500 free with a time of 4:50.11.

Erica Sorgi was the top Stanford diver in the 1-meter competition with a 17th-place finish (252.95). Kim Powers (22nd, 244.10), Ashlee Rosenthal (25th, 231.90) and Alexis Sowa (34th, 223.75) also dove for the Cardinal.

The 2002 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships continue Friday and Saturday with prelims (11 am, CT) and finals (7 pm, PT) sessions scheduled each day.

TEAM SCORES - DAY 1: 1. Auburn 153, 2. Georgia 127, 3. Texas 103, 4. Stanford 98, 5. Arizona 82, 6. California 64, 7. USC 61.5, 8T. Florida 55, 8T. Virginia 55, 10. SMU 41, 11. Indiana 35, 12. Arizona State 34, 13. Penn State 32, 14. Wisconsin 31, 15. Miami 29, 16. North Carolina 26, 17. Notre Dame 25, 18. Pacific 22, 19T. Rice 17, 19T. Houston 17, 21. UCLA 15, 22. Cincinnati 14, 23. Alabama 13, 24T. Tennessee 12, 24T. Florida State 12, 26. Michigan 10, 27. South Carolina 9, 28. Louisiana State 7, 29. Western Kentucky 6.5, 30. Michigan State 6, 31. Clemson 4, 32. Minnesota 2

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