Banovic, Kov�cs Lead Swimmers At Day 2 Of Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 28, 2003

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- The No. 15 Arizona State Women's Swimming team stands in sixth place after the second day of the Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships. Petra Banovic had an outstanding evening where she finished second in the 200 freestyle and set a new Sun Devil record in the process, breaking the previous mark that had stood since 1988.

The Sun Devils' impressive 200 free race, where the team placed two in the top five, was highlighted by Banovic's 1:47.85 as she became the first Sun Devil woman to ever swim under 1:48.00. Florencia Szigeti clocked her season-best 1:48.72 to secure the fifth spot, while Sandra Steffensen recorded her ASU-best 1:48.95 to finish ninth and vault herself into ninth in the Sun Devil record books. Kari Wilcox and Claire Hedenskog finished 15th and 16th to total five members of the team in the top 16 of the race. Hedenskog recorded a career-best in the preliminaries (1:50.68) while Wilcox's (1:51.47) prelim time was a season best.

In the 100 breast, �gnes Kov�cs finished in second place (1:00.88) for the second consecutive year and touched the wall nearly a second before her nearest pursuer. Josie Jedick placed 24th (1:07.80) and was the Devils' only other swimmer in the finals of this event. Stanford's Tara Kirk took the victory in an American, NCAA and Pac-10 record time of 58.41.

Melissa Bartlett set a personal best in the 400 IM finals (4:23.10), placing 17th, while teammate Brianna Patterson came in three spots behind in 20th after a 4:27.63.

Florence Mauro was ASU's lone swimmer in the 100 butterfly finals, finishing in 22nd place. Her 56.09 in the prelims was the best time by a Sun Devil this season. Sarah Fischer set a new career best with a 56.39 in her preliminary swim in the 100 fly, yet was edged out of the championship round by under a tenth of a second. Cal's Natalie Coughlin set a new Pac-10 Championship record (51.10) on her way to first place in the event.

Erin Baldinger was the sole ASU swimmer in the 100 back, finishing 21st in 57.73.

In the relay events, the Sun Devils started the day's finals competition with a fifth-place showing in the 200 medley relay (1:42.51), while in the last event of the evening, the 800 free relay squad of Banovic, Szigeti, Steffensen and Wilcox registered a 7:17.96 for third place. That stands as the second fastest time in Arizona State history, barely a half-second shy of the 7:17.45 that was set in 1988.

Tomorrow is the final day of competition at the 2003 Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships, with prelims beginning at 1:00 p.m. and the finals beginning at 6:00 p.m. The standings after day two are as follows:

UCLA		848.5Stanford	797USC		663California	656Arizona 	623ASU		486Washington	393.5OSU		338WSU		207
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