Women's Swimming Wraps Up Pacific-10 Championships, Break Three ASU Records

Feb. 18, 2007

LONG BEACH, Calif. -

As the 2007 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Swimming Championships came to a close Saturday in Long Beach, Calif., over the course of the four-day event, Arizona State University set a trio of school records and recorded 12 total NCAA qualifying efforts as the team ultimately finished sixth in the conference, scoring 544 total points.

 

ASU began the Pacific-10 Conference Championships in Long Beach, Calif. and started the four-day event with competition in the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays, highlighted by a new ASU record time in the 200 medley relay.  

 

The mark, previously set at 1:40.87 and swam by Miranda Shald, Agnes Kovacs, Sarah Baham and Claire Hedenskog in 2001, was broken by the relay consisting of senior Carissa Abe, junior Sara McDaniel, junior Caitlin Andrew and sophomore Jen Beckberger.  The group completed the event in an NCAA 'B' qualifying time of 1:40.08, just .98 seconds behind the second place relay from the University of California.

 

Overall, the Sun Devils scored 54 points on the first day, highlighted by a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay.

 

ASU's top 800 freestyle relay was unfortunately disqualified from action as the first day of Pac-10 Championship action came to a close.

 

As the second day of the 2007 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Swimming Championships in Long Beach, Calif. concluded, two ASU school records were set and two automatic NCAA Championship berths were earned in both the 50 free and 200 free relay.

Junior Caitlin Andrew was only able to enjoy having set an ASU 50 freestyle (22.63) for a few short hours-until she re-entered the water for the event's finals round and broke her own school standard. After breaking the 50 free record, previously set by Claire Hedenskog in 2001, in the event's preliminary round, the San Antonio, Texas native improved her time by .24 seconds in the finals round, finishing in 22.39. Andrew's newest in her collection of Sun Devil records added another automatic NCAA Championship berth in the event and placed sixth overall in the Pac-10. 

Joining Andrew in the 50 free finals was sophomore Jen Beckberger, who improved upon her preliminary time by .06 seconds, finishing in a personal best time of 22.91, which ranks as the third-fastest time in the event in school history. Following her performance in the 50 free finals, Beckberger earned another NCAA 'B' qualifying standard and tied for seventh overall in the Pac-10 Conference.

Andrew and Beckberger would also join freshman Jess Perazzo and senior Abra Armour as members of ASU's 200 freestyle relay which added its collective name into the Sun Devil history books, setting a school record and attaining an automatic NCAA Championships appearance by finishing in 1:30.84.  The previous mark of 1:31.74 was set in 2005 by Florencia Szigeti, Andrew, Laura Ullrich and Heidi Schmidt. In addition to the relay's overall accomplishment, Andrew is credited with an NCAA 50 freestyle 'A' cut for her leadoff time of 22.58.  Each member swam incredibly, as Beckberger followed Andrew and sped through the second leg, completing in 22.35, followed by Perazzo's contribution of a 23.07 50 freestyle on the third leg.  Armour, a team co-captain, anchored the historic relay and ultimately touched in 22.84 to place the four as the best 200 relay in the history of Arizona State University's women's swimming.

The impressive relay finish was good enough for fourth in the Pac-10 and the right the relay earned to compete at the NCAA Championships will largely increase the team's overall scoring potential when ASU travels to Minneapolis, Minn. for the NCAA Championships in March.

Thursday marked the second school record relay performance in as many days, as on Wednesday, Andrew and Beckberger joined senior Carissa Abe and freshman Sara McDaniel among the standard-setting 200 medley relay which completed the event in an NCAA 'B' qualifying time of 1:40.08.

After setting 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay records Thursday, Andrew now holds four individual ASU records (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly and 100 back) and two relay records (200 free relay and 200 medley relay), and her six overall school records are the most by a swimmer in ASU history.

In addition to the record-breaking individual and relay efforts by the Sun Devils, junior Sarah Fischer competed in the 500 freestyle consolation bonus round, as did Armour and Perazzo for the 50 free. Armour joined Andrew and Beckberger as recipients of individual and relay NCAA marks, as she attained a 50 freestyle 'B' cut, finishing in 23.34.

With 14 of 21 total events in the books, the Sun Devils ranked sixth in the overall standings, having totaled 371 points during the first three days.

 

Leading the way for the Sun Devils was Caitlin Andrew, who enjoyed an excellent Championships meet. On day three, Andrew advanced to the finals round in both the 100 fly and 100 back, notching automatic NCAA Championship times in both finals.  In the 100 fly, the San Antonio, Texas native placed third overall, touching in 52.51. Competing for the Pac-10 Championship in the 100 back, Andrew placed fifth overall with an NCAA `A' cut time of 54.00, an improvement from her preliminary time and only .19 seconds off her ASU record time in the event.

 

Sophomore Jen Beckberger joined Andrew as finalist during Friday's action, as she advanced to the 200 freestyle finals round.  Ultimately, Beckberger notched an NCAA `B' qualifying time of 1:48.95, placing seventh overall in the conference.

 

For the third consecutive day, ASU fielded an NCAA-worthy relay performance, as freshman Mirela Kardasevic, freshman Sara McDaniel, Andrew and Beckberger combined to complete the 400 medley relay in 3:42.64, good for an NCAA `B' consideration mark and the relay finished fifth overall in the Pac-10 Conference.

 

McDaniel also chipped in a very impressive individual performance in the 100 breast, attaining an NCAA `B' qualifying mark by swimming the event in 1:03.25 as a competitor in the `A' consolation round.

 

Several other Sun Devils saw action among the very best the Pac-10 Conference has to offer, including consolation bonus performances by junior Emlynn Tursick in the 400 IM, freshman Ashton Aubry in the 100 fly, senior Abra Armour in the 200 free, junior Lindsey Russenberger in the 100 breast and both Kardasevic and senior Carissa Abe competed in the consolation bonus round of the 100 back.

 

On the fourth and final day of the conference championships, sophomore Jen Beckberger showcased the most noteworthy effort of the Sun Devil swimmers, placing sixth in the 100 free, in a NCAA `B' cut time of 49.85.

 

Freshman Jamie Martinez also earned recognition for her performance, posting an NCAA `B' time of 2:02.52 in the consideration bonus round of the 200 fly.

 

The 2007 Pac-10 Championships were showcased many excellent individual and team performance by the Sun Devils, as ASU swimmers broke three school records and advanced several individuals and relays to the NCAA Championships, en route to a sixth place overall finish in the conference.

 

The Sun Devil women will next compete in the 2007 NCAA Championships, to be held March 8 through March 10 in Minneapolis, Minn.

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