Caverly, Kirk And Bishop Qualify For Friday's Championship Finals

March 17, 2006

Athens, Ga. - Kristen Caverly (400 IM), Dana Kirk (100 fly) and Brooke Bishop (100 back) qualified for the championship finals session Friday evening during prelim action at the 2006 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. Stanford's 200 medley relay squad added a spot in the consolation finals and the 800 free relay squad will swim in the first of three heats to be contested during Friday night's finals session at the short-course yards meet being held at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia.

Caverly jumped up 18 spots from the tied for No. 22 seeding she entered the event with, clocking in with a season-best time of 4:13.14. She is the No. 4 all-time performer at Stanford in the event with the career-best time of 4:10.37 that she posted as a freshman in 2002.

Kirk made the championship finals of the 100 fly for the fourth straight year by qualifying sixth with a time of 53.30. She came into the event seeded second behind defending champion Mary Descenza of Georgia with the personal-best mark of 52.29 she posted to win the 2006 Pac-10 title.

Bishop set a new personal-best for the fourth time in the first two days of the meet with her 53.61 mark to qualify seventh for the 100 back finals, moving up five spots from the No. 12 seeding she came into the race with. Bishop had previously set a new personal-best for the 100 back on the leadoff leg of Stanford's 400 medley relay prelim team on Thursday. She also posted new personal-bests twice on Thursday in the 50 free, ending up with a third-place finish in a time of 22.17 that made her the No. 3 all-time performer on Stanford's Top 10 list.

Stanford also reached the consolation finals in the 200 medley relay that opened the day's action when Andrea Axtell, Caverly, Kirk and Bishop finished in a season-best time of 1:40.74 to place ninth, just missing a spot in the championship finals by one place in a relay event for the second straight day. The Cardinal was also ninth in the prelims of Thursday's 200 free and ended up winning the consolation finals during Thursday's evening session to also place ninth overall.

Axtell (55.16) and Laura Davis (4:20.08) both finished 27th in their respective 100 back and 400 IM prelims, while Desiree Stahley (39th, 1:49.40) and Elizabeth Durot (51st, 1:50.43) participated in the 200 free.

Top individual qualifiers in Friday's prelims were Auburn's Julie Stupp (400 IM, 4:10.43) and Rachel Goh (100 back, 53.07), Descenza (100 fly, 52.07), Georgia's Kara Lynn Joyce (200 free, 1:44.72) and California's Jessica Hardy (100 breast, 59.54).

Florida State captured the 200 medley relay prelims with a team of Christie Raleigh, Lauren Brick, Lauren Sparg and Carrie Ellis checking in with a time of 1:39.01.

Stanford's run of five consecutive victories in the 100 breast officially came to an end, as the Cardinal had no participants in the prelims. Tara Kirk had won the event in each of her four seasons at Stanford (2001-04) and Caroline Bruce picked up where Kirk left off by winning last season but is out of the 2006 NCAA's with a shoulder injury.

Cassidy Krug began the 3-meter diving competition at 1 pm, ET/10 am, PT.

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