Stanford Moves Up To Third-Place After Second Day Of 2001 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships

March 16, 2001

Long Island, New York - Stanford freshman Tara Kirk (Bremerton, WA/Bremerton HS) won the 100 breaststroke in a school-record time of 59.18 to highlight Stanford's second day at the 2001 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center. The Cardinal moved up a spot into third-place with 254.5 points after two days of the three-day event. Auburn (265) and Georgia (261) hold a slim lead on the Cardinal heading into Saturday's final day of competition.

'I knew that I had an entire field swimming their hearts out,' said Kirk about the race in which she also came within 0.13 seconds of the American record. 'I was just thinking about getting myself to each wall and finishing ahead of everyone else.'

'It's anybody's race tomorrow,' said Stanford head coach Richard Quick about the Cardinal's chances of winning a ninth NCAA title. 'We'll have to swim out of our minds to compete for the title, but we have some pretty good swimmers going, and I think we have a chance to be in the hunt. We just have to keep competing and keep swimming the way we have so far in the meet. We need to perform well in all of the events tomorrow. Every single person on the team needs to produce. Every single race is extremely important.'

Stanford's 200 medley relay team of Shelly Ripple, Kirk, Misty Hyman and Siobhan Cropper also captured an NCAA title on Friday with a time of 1:39.47.

'We only had to swim half as far,' joked Kirk about the Cardinal's 200 medley relay win, which featured the same squad that captured the 400 medley relay title on Thursday.

Hyman finished second to California's Natalie Coughlin in both the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. Coughlin's time of 51.23 in the 100 backstroke set new NCAA, American and US Open records, while Hyman finished second with a personal-best mark of 53.04 that also ranks third all-time at Stanford. Coughlin clocked in at 51.18 in the 100 butterfly to set a new NCAA mark. Hyman was second with a time of 51.51.

'Natalie (Coughlin) and I have been racing each other this whole season,' said Hyman. 'We've both won a few, and we knew going into tonight that it would be a showdown. It just came down to that last touch, and she had the speed tonight. I give her all the credit in the world for that.'

'I'm just excited that Stanford's in the running for the title,' continued Hyman. 'Tomorrow's going to be one of our best days. We just get better as this meet goes on.'

'Without a doubt, Natalie (Coughlin) and Misty (Hyman) are the class of the field in the 100 butterfly,' commented Quick about the showdown. 'Also, Natalie is the class of the field in the 100 backstroke, but Misty swam her lifetime best time to place second. I couldn't have been happier with that performance.'

Stanford had several other competitors on Friday. The 800 freestyle relay team of Jessica Foschi, Hyman, Shelly Ripple and Lauren Thies placed second (7:07.64). Ripple, Foschi and Thies also scored points for the Cardinal in individual events. Ripple placed fourth in the 100 backstroke (53.25). Foschi, who won the 500 freestyle on Thursday, took fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:46.40, career-best 1:46.04 prelims) while Thies placed 16th (1:51.23, 1:47.79 prelims) in the same event.

Divers McKenze Murphy (464.80 points) and Erin Sones (464.50 points) both finished just out of the scoring in the three-meter competition, placing 17th and 18th, respectively. Haley Champion placed 26th in the 100 backstroke (55.82).

The 2001 NCAA Championships concludes Saturday, March 17. Prelims begins at 11 a.m. with the finals starting at 7:00 p.m.

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