Lacey Boutwell, Tara Kirk And 400 Free Relay Qualify For Saturday's NCAA Finals

March 22, 2003

2003 NCAA Championships Website/Live Results

Auburn, Ala. - Lacey Boutwell, Tara Kirk and Stanford's 400 free relay team qualified for the evening finals session during the final day of NCAA Championships preliminary swimming action Saturday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center. Boutwell, who was seeded 15th in the 100 free, finished third in the prelims with a career-best time of 49.04 that ranks tied for fifth on Stanford's all-time list. Kirk, the American record holder and unbeaten this season in the 200 breast, clocked in at 2:09.75 to also finish third in the prelims. The 400 free relay team of Boutwell, Sarah Jones, Megan Baumgartner and Ashley Daly finished sixth in the prelims with a season-best time of 3:18.83.

Kristen Caverly and Dana Kirk both earned spots in Saturday night's consolation finals. Caverly tied for 10th in the prelims of the 200 breast in 2:13.34, while Kirk was 12th in the 200 fly in 1:58.24.

Saturday's top individual swimming qualifiers included California's Natalie Coughlin (200 back, 1:53.53), Auburn's Becky Short (100 free, 48.64), Florida's Vipa Bernhardt (200 breast, 2:09.13) and Georgia's Mary DeScenza (200 fly, 1:55.10).

Auburn's 400 free relay team of Maggie Bowen, Eileen Coparropa, Leslie Lunsmann and Kirsty Coventry qualified first in 3:17.38.

The top eight individuals and relay teams from each event qualified for Saturday night's finals, while the next eight places in each event earned spots in the consolation finals.Stanford had five other swimmers and divers participate in individual events during Saturday's prelim session.

McKenze Murphy finished 20th in platform diving with 320.55 prelim points. Baumgartner recorded a season-best 50.17 to tie for 24th in the 100 free, while Jones was 54th in a season-best-tying 50.80. Amy Wagner was 30th in the 200 back in a season-best 2:00.10 and Kirsten Gilbert clocked in at 2:17.30 to finish 34th in the 200 breast.

Stanford enters Saturday night's finals session (7:00 pm, CT) in third place as the Cardinal will attempt to extend its string of top three NCAA finishes to 23 and top three national showings to 28. Defending champion and host Auburn holds a comfortable lead heading into Saturday night's finals session. The Tigers scored 389 points in the first two days, while second-place checks in with 262 and Stanford with 202.5.

The order of events will be the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform diving and 400 free relay.

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