Stanford In Fifth Place After First Day Of NCAA Championships
March 20, 2003
Auburn, Ala. - Stanford is in fifth place with 81.5 points after the first day of the 2003 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships held Thursday at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center. Defending champion and top-seeded Auburn leads the event after the first day with 168.5 points. Georgia (123), Texas (114), SMU (104) and Stanford round out the top five. Stanford's 400 medley relay team of Amy Wagner, Tara Kirk, Dana Kirk and Lacey Boutwell highlighted the Cardinal performance by finishing fourth in the final event of the day with a season-best time of 3:35.16.
The Cardinal was also in the 200 free relay final and finished sixth when a team of Boutwell, Sarah Jones, Ashley Daly and Megan Baumgartner recorded a season-best time of 1:31.15. Ashlee Rosenthal earned a spot in the finals of the one-meter diving competition and finished eighth with a score of 282.00 points.
'We're a team that needs to continue to fight and scrape for every point in this meet,' said Stanford head coach Richard Quick about the Cardinal, who has finished in the top three at each of the previous 22 NCAA Championships and won nine national (eight NCAA) titles. 'I'm really proud of the way our student-athletes competed today. I'm looking forward to the races tomorrow.'
Kristen Caverly won the 200 IM consolation finals to finish ninth overall with a career-best time of 1:59.50 that ranks eighth on Stanford's all-time top 10 list in the event. Boutwell tied for 12th in the 50 free, posting a mark of 22.96 in the consolation finals.
Auburn and Georgia both won two events with each earning a relay and an individual victory.Auburn's 400 medley relay team of Kirsty Coventry, Maggie Bowen, Margaret Hoelzer and Becky Short set a new American record time of 3:31.45 to break the old mark of 3:31.74 posted by Stanford at the 2002 NCAA Championships.
Georgia captured the 200 free relay in a pool record time of 1:28.96 with a team of Neka Mabry, Page Kearns, Samantha Arsenault and Martiza Correia.
Individually, Bowen won her third straight NCAA title in the 200 IM with a time of 1:55.33, while Correia picked up her second consecutive NCAA 50 free victory for the Bulldogs in 21.83. Both marks broke their respective pool records.
Flavia Rigamonti of Southern Methodist defended her 500 free NCAA title by breaking the pool record with a time of 4:37.72.
Houston's Yulia Pakhalina captured the one-meter diving competition, scoring 339.70 points in the finals.
Stanford had seven other swimmers and divers participate in individual events during Thursday morning's prelim session.
McKenze Murphy placed 16th in the one-meter diving competition, scoring 264.30 points to become the tenth Stanford swimmer or diver on Thursday to earn All-American honors awarded to the top 16 individuals and eight relay teams in each event.
Ashley Daly (21st) led four other Cardinal swimmers participating with Caverly in the 200 IM by recording a career-best 2:01.50. Laura Davis (23rd, 2:01.66) and Tara Kirk (35th, 2:02.92) picked up season-bests, while Dana Kirk finished in a tie for 45th place with a time of 2:04.35.
Stanford had no participants in the 500 free.
The 2003 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships continue Friday and Saturday (11:00 am, CT, prelims; 7:00 pm, CT, finals). Friday's order of events will be the 200 medley relay, 400 individual medley, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, three-meter diving and 800 free relay. Saturday's final day of competition will include the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform diving and 400 free relay.
Stanford will feature American record holder Tara Kirk in Friday's 100 breast. Kirk broke her own American in the event by clocking in at 58.41 to win the 2003 Pac-10 title in her most recent performance on February 28. She is undefeated collegiately in the event with 26 consecutive wins.
'I'm going to go out and try to break my old American record,' said Kirk, who swam a 58.24 breast split in Thursday's 400 medley relay. 'That's my goal.'
'Tara Kirk is swimming really well,' added Quick. 'I think she can go even faster tomorrow than she did in tonight's medley relay.'