Records Fall For Women's Swimming & Diving At Texas Invitational

Nov. 30, 2001

AUSTIN, Texas - Amidst a handful of NCAA qualifying times, three Arizona State records were rewritten as the ninth-ranked Sun Devil women's swimming and diving team completed day one of the three day Texas Invitational in fourth-place at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas, Friday.

Swimming the second-fastest preliminary time in the 500-yard freestyle, sophomore Brooke Townsend touched the wall in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:45.09. Dropping her personal best by almost four seconds, Towsend bettered Baukje Wiersma's 1991 best of 4:45.84 to become the ASU record holder in that event.

In the finals of the 500y free, Towsend matched ASU's best finish of the night, placing fourth in 4:46.30. Not far behind her in eighth place was senior Amanda Stanford (4:52.33), who was also coming off a personal-best effort in the preliminaries, where she became the eighth-fastest Sun Devil ever in the event with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:49.44.

The Sun Devils' two other school records set during the evening were packed into one punch in the 400y medley relay. Starting things off with an opening leg of 55.11, sophomore Miranda Shald improved her own school record (previously 55.22) in the 100y backstroke (ASU allows opening relay legs to count toward individual event records). Followed by freshman �gnes Kov�cs, senior Sarah Baham and junior Claire Hedenskog, ASU's relay team placed fourth and grabbed its first NCAA automatic qualifying time of the year with a school record effort of 3:39.50. Although breaking a record that was only months old, the Sun Devil squad of Shald, Kov�cs, Baham and Hedenskog became the first Sun Devil 400y medley relay team to swim sub-3:40.00.

The Sun Devils enjoyed two other NCAA automatic qualifying times Friday, both in the 100y butterfly. First, in event prelims, sophomore Florence Mauro timed in at 55.19, making her the fifth-fastest Sun Devil ever in that event. Going on to place eighth in the finals (55.82), Mauro watched Baham - the school record holder in the event -- score her first automatic qualifying time of the season with a fourth-place 54.34.

In the 200y individual medley, Kov�cs bettered her collegiate best to place fifth in 2:01.27. In the process, Kov�cs earned another NCAA 'B' qualifying mark (consideration) and moved into a tie with Chris Jeffrey for third all-time in Sun Devil history in the 200 IM. Just missing the all-time top-10 was freshman Kari Wilcox, who earned her first NCAA 'B' qualifying time with an 11th-place 2:03.82 performance.

Other event finals competed Friday were the 200 free relay, in which an ASU team of Florencia Szigeti, Baham, Mauro and Hedenskog placed sixth (1:33.63), the 50y free in which Hedenskog placed seventh (23.32) with the third fastest time in school history and the 1-meter springboard, which saw senior Natalie Burgess earn ninth-place points (238.65).

The women's field of 12 teams includes nine of the nation's top-25 programs. No. 2 Texas finished the first day on top with 269 points, followed by No. 1 Stanford (204), No. 4 Arizona (193) and No. 9 ASU (153).

Competition continues tomorrow with prelims and finals of the 200 medley relay, 400 individual medley, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 800 freestyle relay.

Day One -- Team Scores
1. Texas 269, 2. Stanford 204, 3. Arizona 193, 4. Arizona State 153, 5. Wisconsin 148, 6. California 135, 7. USC 133, 8. Auburn 115, 9. UCLA 17, 10. Rice 16, 11. TCU 6, 12. Nebraska 4.

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