Sandeno, Kwasny, Hartley Qualify For Finals In NCAA Swimming, Diving First Morning

March 20, 2003

Sophomore Kaitlin Sandeno qualified second in the 500y free, senior Michala Kwasny qualified seventh in the 200y IM and both helped Troy's 400y medley qualify seventh to pace USC's prelims efforts on the first day of the 2003 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Auburn (Ala.) on Thursday (March 20).

Sophomore diver Blythe Hartley, the 2002 NCAA Women's Diver of the Year, later qualified for the finals of the 1-meter springboard. She was second in the morning with 321.45.

Sandeno swam a 4:41.72 for the second-fastest time of the morning in the 500y free, behind only Florida's Sara McLarty (4:39.58). SMU's Flavia Rigamonti, who owned the nation's top time entering the NCAAs, was third in 4:42.28.

Kwasny took seventh in the prelims of the 200y IM in 1:59.26. 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.

Sandeno swam the leadoff leg of USC's 400y medley relay that earned a trip for the championship finals by taking seventh in the morning in 3:38.32. Freshman Kammy Miller swam the breast, junior Jana Krohn swam the fly and Kwasny anchored in the free. The time is less than two seconds off the school reocrd.

Sophomore Margie Pedder just missed qualifying for the finals of the 500y free, taking ninth in 4:44.37 (season's best), less than two tenths of a second from eighth. She will be the top seeded swimmer in the consolation finals.

Junior Nicci Fusaro took 13th in the 1-meter springboard prelims with 268.25, less than seven points from qualifying for finals.

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.

Finals begin at 7 p.m. CST. 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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