Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships Next Week

Feb. 21, 2003

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WHAT: Pacific-10 Conference Women's Swimming Championships

WHERE: Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center, Federal Way, Washington

WHO: Women's swimming teams from ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, OREGON STATE, STANFORD, UCLA, USC, WASHINGTON and WASHINGTON STATE will compete for the 2003 Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championship.

WHEN: Thursday through Saturday, February 27, 28 and March 1, 2003; Preliminaries begin at 11:00 a.m. and finals begin at 6 p.m. each evening.

TICKETS: Tickets for the 2003 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Swimming Championships are available at the Championship or may be purchased in advance from the California ticket office in Berkeley, (800) GO-BEARS. An All-Session adult pass is $25, an All-Session student/senior citizen pass is $15. Single-day tickets are available at $10 for adults or $5 for a student/senior citizen.

MEDIA CONTACT: The California sports information office will handle publicity of the 2003 Women's Swimming Championships. Lori Haro, media relations assistant, can be reached at (510) 642-5363.

MEET RESULTS: At the conclusion of each event, results will be faxed to the Pac-10 SID offices. Also, the results will be posted on the Pac-10 web site (www.pac-10.org) on the swimming page, as well as on CAL's website (www.calbears.com). Please contact Bri Niemi at the Pacific-10 Conference office for more information.

THE PARTICIPANTS

PAC-10: The 2003 Pac-10 Championships feature some of the top teams in the country ... The latest CSCAA-Top 25 poll includes four Pac-10 teams in the Top-10 alone ... No. 6 ARIZONA, No. 7 CALIFORNIA, No. 8 STANFORD and No. 9 USC ... Also appearing is No. 12 UCLA, No. 15 ARIZONA and No. 23 WASHINGTON ... Six 2002 individual Pac-10 champions are back to defend their eight crowns ... They are Arizona's Emily Mason (500 free), Arizona State's Agnes Kovacs (200 breast), California's Natalie Coughlin (200 free/100 back/200 back), Stanford's Lacey Boutwell (50 free) and Tara Kirk (100 breast) and USC's Michala Kwasny (400 IM) ... Two NCAA individual champions will take the pool at the Pac-10s ... California's Coughlin (100 back/200 back/100 fly) won an NCAA title in 2002, as did Stanford's Kirk (100 breast/200 breast) ... Team results at the NCAAs found five Pac-10 teams in the Top-10 ... Stanford placed third, followed by No. 4 USC, No. 5 Arizona, No. 8 California and in a tie for tenth place was Arizona State.

ARIZONA: Arizona comes to Federal Way as the No. 6 team in the nation, hoping to improve upon last year's third-place finish ... The Wildcats look to capture their second-ever Pac-10 title ... Head coach Frank Busch returns two of the nation's top swimmers in senior Beth Botsford and sophomore Emily Mason ... Both Botsford and Mason have ranked nationally in various events this season ... Botsford ranks second in the 100 back with a time of 53.25, while Mason occupies the sixth position in the 200 fly with a time of 1:57.85 ... As a freshman, Mason set a new Pac-10 record in the 500 free with a time of 4:38.79 ... UA performed well in last year's relay events, capturing the 400 free and 800 free relay titles ... Also look for All-American junior Jessica Wagner to score points for the Wildcats ... Wagner finished seventh in the 100 breast at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships.

ARIZONA STATE: Michael Chasson's Sun Devils come to the Pac-10s ranked No. 15 in the country ... ASU will try to break out of the sixth-place finishes it has placed the past seven years ... Top returnees for the Sun Devils include sophomore All-Americans Agnes Kov�cs, Florencia Szigeti and Kari Wilcox ... Last year Kov�cs finished first in the 200 breast and second in the 400 IM ... Her time of 2:07.75 in the 200 breast set a new Pac-10 record ... With times of 2:07.64 and 1:00.56, Kov�cs also finished second and fifth in the 200 breast and 100 breast, respectively at the NCAA Championships ... She also set a new Sun Devil record in the 200 IM with a time of 1:58.13 at the Texas Invitational in December ... Senior All-American Claire Hedenskog set the ASU school record in the 50 free with a time of 23.10 at the Texas Invitational.

CALIFORNIA: The No. 7 Golden Bears will look to improve on last season's fourth-place Pac-10 finish ... Cal ended the dual meet season with an 8-3 overall record ... The Bears are led by junior Natalie Coughlin ... Coughlin broke a total of 22 records in 2002 (4 World records, 12 American records and 6 NCAA records) ... Currently holds five World Records ... In December, Coughlin destroyed the oldest American record on the books (1981) and by over a second in the 200-yard butterfly ... She won the 100 back in world record time, becoming the first woman to swim the event in under one minute while becoming the first swimmer to win five individual titles since 1978 ... Named Female World Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World magazine, NCAA Swimmer of Year, USA Swimming Athlete of the Year and Performance of the Year ... Cal took first place in both the 200 free relay and 200 medley relay at last year's Pac-10 meet ... Senior Staciana Stitts has become the Bears' top breaststroker of all time, having automatically qualified for both the 100 and 200 breast at this year's NCAA Championships.

OREGON STATE: Oregon State heads to the Pac-10 Championships with a 12-3 record, tying the mark for wins in a season previously set by the 1979-80 squad ... The Beavers have put together four consecutive winning seasons ... OSU is led by senior Naya Higashijima who has a team-high 31 wins this year ... In her impressive career she has amassed 107 first-place finishes in dual meet and individual competition ... Also look for junior All-American Birte Steven to pace the Beavers in various events ... She owns three school records in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM ... Steven is the first three-time All-American in OSU history ... The Beavers set 13 new records in 10 different events this season, including Higashijima's 9:56.74 record time in the 1,000 free.

STANFORD: The No. 8 Cardinal will look to to capture their second consecutive and 15th overall Pac-10 Championship ... Stanford won the title from 1987-1999 and again in 2002 ... They finished this season with an 8-2 overall record, 4-1 in Conference play ... Head coach Richard Quick brings to Federal Way a talented squad with two swimmers returning to defend their Pac-10 titles ... Junior Tara Kirk, a seven-time NCAA Champion, set an NCAA record with her time of 58.68 in the 100 breast at last year's event ... She was also second in the 200 breast, losing out by only four-tenths of a second ... Kirk holds the fastest times in the nation in the 100 breast (59.74) and 200 breast (2:09.66) this season and is undefeated in both of these events in 2002-03 ... Sophomore Lacey Boutwell notched the 50 free crown with a time of 22.73 at last year's Pac-10s ... Stanford took first place in the 400 medley relay last year.

UCLA: The No. 12 Bruins placed fifth in last year's final team standings ... In 2001, UCLA captured the Pac-10 title, one of just three teams ever (Arizona and Stanford, the others) to win the Conference crown ... The Bruins have had four swimmers automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships this year, including Kristen Lewis (200 fly), Sara Platzer (50 and 100 free), Malin Svahnstrom (200 IM) and Kim Vandenberg (200 fly) ... Platzer finished second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free in last year's events ... Svahnstrom also swam well, finishing fifth and fourth in the 100 free and 200 free, respectively ... UCLA will be looking to improve its relays, having finished in the bottom half of the 200 free, 400 free and 600 free relays.

USC: Head coach Mark Shubert leads a No. 9 USC squad ready to stake its claim at the Pac-10 Championships, having finished second last season ... The Women of Troy finished the dual meet season with a 5-3 overall record ... Senior Michala Kwasny returns to defend her two-time Pac-10 title in the 400 IM ... USC has six All-Americans ready to make an impact at this year's event, including sophomore Kaitlin Sandeno and junior Jana Krohn ... Krohn finished in third place in the 100 fly at last season's Conference Championships ... Sophomore Joanna Fargus competed well in last year's events, placing fifth in the 500 free and second in both the 100 and 200 back ... In the 800 free relay and 400 free relay, USC placed second and third, respectively last year.

WASHINGTON: Fifth-year head coach Micky Wender's Huskies will strive to improve on their eighth-place finish of one year ago ... With a win over Oregon State in its last dual meet of the season, Washington finished with a perfect 11-0 overall record ... The 2002-03 season marked the first time a UW team has finished unbeaten since the Conference recognized the sport in 1986 ... The Huskies are led by senior co-captain Kim Harada ... At last year's Pac-10 Championships, Harada tied for fourth in the 50 free, placed fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 200 free ... Look for junior Brittany Reichardt to swim well at this year's meet, as she posted a career-best 2:05.83 in the 200 IM in the 2002 Conference Championships ... Freshman Sharon Olson should also be a contender as she has won 24 races this season and posted the second-fastest UW time ever in the 1000 free (10:01.09).

WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars come to the 2003 Pac-10 Championships with an 3-4 record and hope to improve on last year's ninth place finish ... Senior Lindsay Henahan broke the Stevens Natatorium (Oregon State campus) record in the 100 fly with a time of 56.32 on Jan. 31 ... Henahan has now broken two pool records this season, the first one coming Nov. 22 at home against UW ... She is ranked 12th in the nation in the 100 butterfly ... Freshman Jane Copland is ranked 23rd in the nation in the 200 breast ... Senior Becca Cohen and junior Nicole Chinn have both set personal bests at the Pac-10 Championships and look to do so again this year.

LAST YEAR: STANFORD won its 14th Pac-10 Championship.

TEAM RESULTS	1.	STAN	1320.50	2.	USC	1197.50	3.	ARIZ	1151.50	4.	CAL	1096.00	5.	UCLA	1064.00	6.	ASU	818.50	7.	OSU	477.00	8.	WASH	449.50	9.	WSU	401.50

DEFENDING INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS 50 Free Lacey Boutwell, STAN 22.73100 Free Sarah Tolar, ARIZ 49.32200 Free Natalie Coughlin, CAL 1:43.30*500 Free Emily Mason, ARIZ 4:38.79*1650 Free Jessica Foschi, STAN 16:08.46100 Back Natalie Coughlin, CAL 50.71**200 Back Natalie Coughlin, CAL 1:50.90**100 Breast Tara Kirk, STAN 58.68*200 Breast Agnes Kovacs, ASU 2:07.75*100 Fly Shelly Ripple, STAN 52.16200 Fly Shelly Ripple, STAN 1:53.50*200 IM Shelly Ripple, STAN 1:56.64*400 IM Michala Kwasny, USC 4:09.48

DEFENDING RELAY CHAMPIONS200 free relay California 1:30.47*400 free relay Arizona 3:17.91800 free relay Arizona 7:10.14*200 medley relay California 1:39.20*400 medley relay Stanford 3:36.54

* - Pac-10 Championship Record**-NCAA Record

NCAA Championships: The NCAA Women's Swimming Championships will be held at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, March 20-22. For ticket info, call 800-AUB-1957.

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