Sandeno, Hartley, Kwasny All Post Top 4 Marks On First Day Of NCAAs

March 20, 2003

Auburn, AL - Sophomore Kaitlin Sandeno finished second in the 500y free, sophomore Blythe Hartley was third in the 1-meter springboard and senior Michala Kwasny was fourth in the 200y IM, leading Troy to sixth on the first day of finals at the 2003 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Auburn (Ala.) on Thursday (March 20).

Auburn (168.6) led after the first day with Georgia second (123). Texas was third (114), followed by SMU (104), Stanford (81.5) and USC (81).

'We had two swimmers in finals who expected to win and who were disappointed they didn't win,' said USC Coach Mark Schubert of Kwasny and Sandeno. 'It's a good step when you walk up and expect to win. I expect we'll be much better tomorrow.'

Sandeno broke her USC record in the 500y free by touching second in 4:39.31, the third time she dropped the school record in the event this year. Her previous record was 4:39.50, set during her title race at the Pac-10 Championships. SMU's Flavia Rigamonti won the race for the second straight season in 4:37.72. Sandeno trailed Florida's Sara McLarty with 25 yards left, but passed her in the final lap for second.

Hartley, the 2002 NCAA Women's Diver of the Year and the defending NCAA 1-meter champion, took third with 329.70 points, only .20 from second. Houston's Yulia Pakhalina, the 2002 3-meter winner, was first with 339.20. Hartley has finished no lower than fourth in four NCAA career events.

Kwasny, seventh in the prelims of the 200y IM, finished fourth in the finals in 1:58.05. It marked the third time in her career she qualified for the finals of the event. She was third in 2001 and sixth in 2000.

USC's 400y medley relay team of Sandeno (back), freshman Kammy Miller (breast), junior Jana Krohn (fly) and Kwasny (free) qualified seventh for the finals during prelims and took eighth during finals. USC was disqualified in the event last year.

Sophomore Margie Pedder, who just missed qualifying for the finals of the 500y free in prelims, finished second in the consolation finals in 4:43.93, dropping her best season time for the second time of the meet.

Other individual Trojan finishers included senior co-captain Asa Sandlund (500y free, 4:47.72, 20th), Joy Galloway (500y free, 4:50.51, 31st) and Miller (200y IM, 2:05.01, 58th).

The Trojans' 200y free relay of sophomore Marisa Kozak, Krohn, Miller and Galloway was 17th in 1:32.80.

Prelims for Friday and Saturday begin at 11 a.m. CST each day and finals are at 7 p.m. CST

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