No. 23 Women's Swimming Breaks Five ASU Records, Finishes 16th at NCAA Championships

March 12, 2007

Following three days competing against the top collegiate swimming talent in the nation during the 2007 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the UniversityAquaticCenter in Minneapolis, Minn., No. 23 Arizona State University placed 16th in the final standings, setting five school records along the way.


The Sun Devils' overall finish marks a significant improvement from last year's NCAA Championships, at which ASU ultimately placed 29th. 


As day one of the concluded, the Sun Devils showcased an impressive start during the first six events, highlighted by an ASU record-breaking performance in the 200 freestyle relay, while the team ended the day ranked 13th in the overall standings.


The relay consisting of junior Caitlin Andrew, sophomore Jen Beckberger, junior Lindsey Brown and senior Abra Armour completed the preliminary round of the event in 1:30.23. The school record finish also allowed the relay to return for the event's consolation finals round, during which the group finished 10th overall, touching in 1:30.30, earning the Sun Devils 14 points to start the day.  The record-breaking time marks the second consecutive meet during which the Sun Devils rewrote the 200 freestyle record, as the relay consisting of Andrew, Beckberger, freshman Jess Perazzo and Armour swam the event in 1:30.84 at the Pac-10 Conference Championships in February.  Prior to ASU's historic performance at the Pac-10 Championships, the 200 freestyle relay record stood at 1:31.74, set in 2005.


'Breaking the 200 freestyle relay school record was a very big deal,' said Michael Chasson, ASU head swimming coach.  'Doing so enabled us to score some early points and get off to a very good start.'


Also returning for day one consolation finals round action was ASU's 400 medley relay, which consists of senior Carissa Abe, freshman Sara McDaniel, Andrew and Beckberger.  The group finished the preliminary round in 3:40.10, the third-fastest time in the event in Sun Devil history and the team's fastest time of the season. The squad later returned to clock a consolation finals round finish of 3:41.09, placing ASU 15th in the event and adding to the Sun Devils' scoring total. 


'Our relays did a great job today,' Chasson said.  'We swam our best 400 medley relay of the season, improving upon the previous best by two seconds, which helped us have a strong day overall.'


Caitlin Andrew added an individual event scoring effort for the Sun Devils, placing 13th in the 50 freestyle consolation finals round, finishing in 22.56.  Andrew earned the opportunity to swim in the 50 freestyle consolation finals round after touching in 22.40 in a swim-off which placed her 16th overall in the preliminary round. In addition to a consolation finals round berth, Andrew came within .01 seconds of her ASU 50 freestyle record of 22.39, set at the Pac-10 Conference Championships in February.  In the 50 freestyle preliminary round, Andrew and Stephanie Napier of the University of Florida both recorded times of 22.64, forcing the swim-off for the right to compete in the event's consolation finals round.


Also competing in the 50 freestyle preliminary round were Armour and Beckberger, where Beckberger finished 40th overall, touching in 23.04, while Armour placed 46th with a time of 23.11.


As day two of the concluded, ASU enjoyed an impressive overall day in the water, led by Caitlin Andrew, who placed third overall in the 100 butterfly finals, notching a series of school records along the way.


Following the conclusion of the second day of NCAA Championship action, the Sun Devils were ranked 13th overall, having accumulated a total of 55 points.


'Overall we had an excellent day,' Chasson said.  'We set school records and were able to gain significant individual and relay points.'


Continuing her incredible track record at the NCAA Championships, Andrew finished third in the 100 butterfly championship finals, touching in an ASU record time of 52.02, surpassing her previous school record of 52.23. In the preliminary round, Andrew tied Christine Magnuson of Tennessee for second overall in the 100 butterfly preliminary round, finishing in 52.56.  With her remarkable performance in the event, Andrew adds to her already impressive career resume, as she was the national runner-up in the event last season, while placing fourth overall as a freshman at the 2005 NCAA Championships. 


Later in the evening, Andrew returned for the consolation finals round of the 100 backstroke, where she again set a Sun Devil record, finishing in 53.68, passing the school mark she had set earlier in the day by merely .01 seconds. In addition to the ASU record, Andrew placed 10th overall in the event, adding to the Sun Devils' overall scoring total.  In the event's preliminary round, Andrew recorded an excellent 100 backstroke performance, breaking her ASU record in the event by .12 seconds by finishing in 53.69.  In addition to achieving what at the time was yet another Sun Devil standard, she placed ninth overall, only .02 seconds from qualifying for the event's championship finals round. 


'Caitlin Andrew has done an amazing job at the NCAA Championships,' Chasson said.  'She has competed in 13 races in two days and has done very well in all of them.'


For the second consecutive day, ASU showcased a school record-breaking relay performance, as in the event's preliminary round, the Sun Devils broke the school 200 medley relay mark.  Senior Carissa Abe, freshman Sara McDaniel, Andrew and sophomore Jen Beckberger combined to finish the event in 1:39.71, passing the mark of 1:40.08 set by the very same combination of swimmers which was achieved at the Pac-10 Conference Championships in February.  In the 200 medley relay consolation finals round, the relay placed 12th overall, touching in1:40.12, further increasing ASU's team points total.  Prior to the Pac-10 Championships, ASU's 200 medley relay record stood at 1:40.87 and was swam by Miranda Shald, Agnes Kovacs, Sarah Baham and Claire Hedenskog in 2001.


In individual action, Beckberger entered her name into the Sun Devil record books Friday, swimming the seventh-fastest 200 freestyle in school history, touching in 1:48.49, placing her 36th overall in the event.


McDaniel also competed for the Sun Devils during Friday's preliminary rounds, placing 30th overall in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:02.99


In the final day of action at the 2007 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships the Sun Devils set a pair of school records Saturday, while the team finished the three-day event ranked 16th, scoring 55 points.


ASU enjoyed yet another high-ranking, historic relay performance to begin day three, posting a pair of school records in the 400 freestyle relay preliminary rounds. Junior Caitlin Andrew, sophomore Jen Beckberger, junior Lindsey Brown and senior Abra Armour sped through Saturday's preliminary round, touching in 3:16.68, breaking the record of 3:18.38 that the same group set in its last appearance at the Pac-10 Conference Championships.  A second school record was earned by Andrew's leadoff time of 48.50 during the relay's opening leg, improving upon the ASU record of 49.25 she set while leading of the 400 freestyle relay at the Pac-10 Championships.  The relay placed fifth overall in the preliminary round, however it was disqualified in the championship finals round Saturday evening.


Saturday's record-setting times marked the fourth and fifth ASU records set by the Sun Devils at the NCAA championships, as new standards were also set in the 200 freestyle relay, as well as Caitlin Andrew breaking the school's 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke records.


Also competing Saturday were Beckberger, Armour and Brown in the 100 freestyle preliminary rounds.  Beckberger highlighted the trio by swimming the third-fastest 100 freestyle finish in ASU history, placing 26th with a time of 49.74, Armour finished 45th in 50.25, while Brown touched in 50.67, placing 55th overall.


Day three concluded the 2007 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships and the 2006-07 season for the Sun Devil women, capped-off by a greatly improved NCAA Championships finish from the previous season.


ASU's men's swimming and diving team will begin the 2007 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships on March 15.


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