Soni Wins 200y Breast Pac-10 Title In NCAA Record Fashion
March 1, 2008
Junior Rebecca Soni came within a fraction of a second from setting a world record in the 200-yard breaststroke, instead settling for lowering her own NCAA and USC record and winning her fourth career conference title to lead the No. 25 Women of Troy on the final day of the 2008 Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday (March 1).
USC finished fifth (779) overall. Arizona edged Stanford for the Pac-10 team title with 1501 points. Stanford was second (1472) and was followed by California (1262), UCLA (938), USC, ASU (727.5), Washington (623), Oregon State (377) and Washington State (337.5).
Soni, who won her second Pac-10 title in the 100y breast on Friday, won her second in the 200y breast in 2:06.11, almost a full second under her previous best of 2:07.08, the former NCAA record she set earlier this season (which was already the second fastest time ever in the race). American and former Stanford swimmer Tara Kirk remains the world record holder in the event (2:05.73) but not by much.
Soni's four career Pac-10 titles are the most for a Trojan swimmer since Kalyn Keller finished with four, her last coming in 2006. Soni also became Troy's first two-time 200y breast Pac-10 winner since Kristine Quance (1994, 19997).
Senior Whitney Hentzen posted her second third-place effort of the meet thanks to a personal-best 16:12.20 in the 1650y free. It was her fourth career top-eight effort in the 1650y free at the Pac-10s and her highest finish. She also was third in the 500y free earlier in the meet. Senior Brittany Allen was ninth (16:34.81) in the 1650y free, senior Lindsay Warren was 10th (16:36.01) and freshman Ellie Doran was 18th (16:57.01).
Senior Emily Goetsch reached the Pac-10 final of the 200y fly for the first time since her freshman season. She swam a season-best 1:58.16 to qualify fifth into finals. She then lowered her own career best with a 1:57.80 for fifth in the final. She was seventh as a freshman.
USC's 400y free relay of senior Kate Polich, Waller, Houston and Goetsch finished eighth (3:24.96).
The 2008 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships begin Wednesday (March 5).
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