Women Finish In 6th at Pac-10 Swimming Championships

March 1, 2003

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- The No. 15 Arizona State Women's Swimming team finished in 6th place with 765 points at the 2003 Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships that wrapped up this evening at the King County Aquatic Center. Sophomore �gnes Kov�cs led the Sun Devils on the final day with a second-place finish in the 200 breaststroke. It was the Sun Devils eighth straight sixth-place finish at the Pac-10s.

UCLA won the championship without having captured any individual titles.

Kov�cs time of 2:08.82 in the 200 breast was her fastest time this season and the second-fastest time in the country this year. Junior Brianna Patterson finished in 19th after registering a 2:20.06. Her 2:18.78 in the prelims was her career best. Kari Wilcox (2:22.43) and Melissa Bartlett (2:23.09) finished 22nd and 23rd respectively. Tara Kirk of Stanford won the race in 2:07.37, one-hundredth of a second shy of her American record.

In the 100 free, Florencia Szigeti finished fifth with a time of 50.00 even, good enough for the second-fastest time in ASU history and just one-tenth of a second off of the school record. Senior Claire Hedenskog came in seventh with a 50.23, setting a career-best and placing her third on the all-time ASU list. Szigeti and Hedenskog were previously tied for No. 2 in school history at 50.32. Both of today's times are good for NCAA consideration.

Junior Petra Banovic, coming off a school record-setting performance in the 200 free yesterday, placed ninth in the 100 free with a 50.77. Junior Florence Mauro placed 22nd after registering a 51.85, tying her season best that she set at the Texas Invitational in December. California's Natalie Coughlin took the victory in an American, NCAA and Pac-10 Record time of 47.42.

Freshman Kathryn Hennessy started the final round of this year's championships with a seventh place finish for the Sun Devils in the 1650 freestyle. Her 16:32.90 was over 20 seconds better than her previous career best and put her eighth all-time in ASU history. Sophomore Jen Lees swam the event for the first time this season, placing 16th with a 16:58.82, while senior Katie Titcomb recorded a season-best 17:08.10 to place 19th. Hennessy's time is an NCAA 'B' consideration time.

In the 200 butterfly, Titcomb was the only Sun Devil to make the finals, finishing 24th with a time of 2:07.91. Her prelim of 2:05.30 was a career best. Petra Banovic swam an exhibition in the 200 fly, where she set a career best time of 2:01.62, moving her up to eighth all-time in the ASU record books, and lowering her previous NCAA consideration time.

Freshman Erin Baldinger was Arizona State's lone competitor in the 200 back, where she recorded a 2:08.44 in the prelims. She missed her season best time (2:08.20) that she set in January against California by just over two-tenths of a second.

In the final event of the day, ASU claimed a fourth place finish in the 400 free relay with a 3:21.52. Szigeti, Banovic, Hedenskog and Mauro were behind the effort, which goes down as the third fastest in school history. The same four swimmers, but in a different order, hold the ASU record of 3:20.14 set earlier this year at the Texas Invitational.

Tomorrow is the Pac-10 Invitational, an approved NCAA 'Last Chance' meet to give the swimmers one last opportunity to record NCAA qualification times. Qualified swimmers will compete at the NCAA Women's Swimming Championships March 20-22 in Auburn, Ala. The final standings for the 2003 Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships are as follows:

UCLA		1399Stanford	1308USC		1138Arizona 	1013California	940.5ASU		765Washington	578.5OSU		544WSU		299
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