Swimming, Diving Takes 3rd At NCAA Championships

March 22, 2003

Auburn, AL - Five Trojans earned All-American honors to lead USC to a third-place finish, its highest since 1997, on the final evening of the 2003 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Auburn (Ala.) on Saturday (March 22).

USC finished third with 284 points. Auburn ran away with the team title with 536 points. The Tigers were followed by Georgia (373), USC (284), SMU (281), Florida (277) and Stanford (275.5).

Troy's third-place mark is its best NCAA finish since winning its only national championships in 1997. It's only USC's second top 3 finish since 1980.

'We knew we had to do it in individual events because our relays, except for the 800y free, aren't as strong as some of these other teams,' said USC Coach Mark Schubert of the Trojan squad that finished third despite having only 10 competitors, half as many as some teams. 'We had great individual efforts and tremendous contributions from diving. And we got great leadership from Kaitlin Sandeno, Michala Kwasny and Jana Krohn.

'Performances like Margie Pedder doubling tonight (swimming the 1650y free and the 200y fly) were the kind of efforts we needed. Everyone contributed and every point counted.'

Sophomore Blythe Hartley finished second on the platform with 456.90 points, trailing only winner Natalia Diea of Ohio State (476.65). She posted three top 3 finishes in the diving over the weekend and has finished no lower than third in all six of her NCAA events.

'Overall, I'm happy,' said Hartley, who was a two-time winner last year. 'Each event could have been a little better, but I was consistent and I did what I wanted to do, which was score points for the team. So I'm happy.'

Sandeno, a sophomore who didn't swim the 1650y free last year because of injuries, took third in the timed final in 15:58.58. Pedder, another sophomore, didn't finish far behind, swimming a season best 16:02.98 to finish fifth. Sandeno's swim gave her three top 3 finishes here, complementing her second in the 500y free and her third in the 400y IM. Combined with her two relay final swims, Sandeno finished as a five-time All-American this year.

Swimming in her final individual NCAA race as a Trojan, Kwasny, a senior co-captain, finished fourth in the 200y fly in 1:56.87. The Pac-10 champion in the event this year, she swam in the finals of the event for the third year in a row. She earned four All-American honors this meet and finished her USC career as a 13-time All-American.

Hartley finished fourth overall in individual scoring with 50 points while Sandeno was fifth with 49 and Kwasny 15th with 39.

Krohn swam in the finals of the 200y fly for the second time in her career, taking seventh this time in 1:57.47. Her prelim time of 1:56.02 dropped her season best time by more than a second. Krohn also was fifth in the 100y fly and swam on two finalist relays, giving her four All-American honors for the meet.

Pedder, who just missed the finals cut of the 200y fly in 1:58.09, finished fifth in consolation finals in 1:59.01 just an hour or so after swimming a mile of freestyle.

USC freshman Joy Galloway made her NCAA point-scoring debut by finishing 16th in the 1650y free with a time of 16:27.59, just under her season best of 16:27.79. Senior co-captain Asa Sandlund finished 26th in 16:36.11 in her final race for Troy.

Freshman Kammy Miller made her second appearance in the consolation finals, qualifying for the last spot in the 200y breast with a time of 2:14.65. She then finished eighth in consolation finals in 2:16.06. Sophomore Marisa Kozak was 27th in the 200y back in 1:59.74.

USC's 400y free relay of Krohn, Sandeno, Kwasny and Galloway finished sixth in the consolation finals in 3:21.31 to finish the meet, good enough to clinch third place. That same quartet swam the same time in prelims.

The USC men will be in action next Thursday to Saturday (March 27-29) in Austin, Texas, for the men NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.

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