Arizona Women's Swimming Climbs One Spot to Fourth at NCAAs

March 22, 2002

AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Arizona women's swimming and diving team completed the second day of the 2002 NCAA Championships. The Wildcats moved up one place to be in fourth place with 207 points. Auburn continues to lead with 337 points followed by Georgia (270) and Stanford (215). The event is taking place at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin.

Senior All-American Sarah Tolar was crowned the NCAA Champion in the 200y free tonight for the second consecutive year. Tolar won the title in the time of 1:44.66, an Arizona school record. When asked about the race Tolar said, 'It feels awesome. I feel a little relief now that it's over since I won last year and may have been expected to win again. I'm just really excited.'

The Wilcats' 800y free relay team won the NCAA title tonight and set a new school record with the time of 7:05.10. The team consisted of freshman Emily Mason, senior All-American Jenny Vanker, freshman Jessica Hayes and Tolar.

Head coach Frank Busch said, 'Today was a great day for our team. To have Sarah (Tolar) win the 200y free for the second year in a row was amazing. The relay team was incredible. Emily (Mason) swam a great race as did the rest of the team. We will come out swimming hard tomorrow and hope to finish in the top four.'

The Cats had two swimmers in the finals of the 100y back, junior All-American Beth Botsford and junior Julie Manitt. Botsford took home third place in the championship finals (53.45) and Manitt placed eighth in the consolation finals (55.03).

Mason set a new school record in the consolation finals of the 400y IM when she touched the wall at 4:11.77. Mason placed first in the event and was followed by fellow freshman Artemis Daphnis (4:13.79).

In the championship finals of the 200y medley relay the Cats finished fifth at 1:39.58. The relay team was made up of Botsford, Wagner, senior All-American Amy Bouta and Vanker.

Sophomore Jessica Wagner placed fifth in the consolation finals of the 100y breast, touching the wall at 1:01.96.

California sophomore Natalie Coughlin became the first woman ever to break 50.00 in the 100y back. Coughlin swam to a time of 49.97 breaking all existing records including the NCAA Record, the American Record, the U.S. Open Record and the World Record.

In the championship finals of the 100y fly Coughlin broke the NCAA, American and U.S. Open Records, touching the wall at 50.01. Coughlin had set the record earlier in the day in the preliminaries of the 100y fly with the time of 50.67. Prior to this morning she owned the NCAA Record of 51.18 and Stanford's Jenny Thompson owned the American and U.S. Open Records with a time of 51.07.

The third and final day of the 2002 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will begin tomorrow with preliminaries beginning at 11 a.m. and finals at 7 p.m.


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