Stanford Finishes 6th At NCAA Championships, Tara Kirk Wins 200 Breast

March 22, 2003

2003 NCAA Championships Website

Auburn, Ala. - Stanford finished sixth and Tara Kirk won her second 2003 individual national title with a victory in the 200 breast on the final day of the 2003 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center on Saturday. Auburn won its second consecutive national championship with 536 points. Georgia (373) finished second, followed by USC (284), SMU (281), Florida (277), Stanford (275.5), Texas (220), California (215), Arizona (209) and Arizona State (135) to round out the top 10.

'We just didn't quite qualify enough people in the prelims this morning,' said Quick about his team's fall from third-place to sixth on the final day of the meet. 'We had some chances, but it just didn't quite materialize like we would have liked it to.'

Kirk's NCAA title was the ninth of her collegiate career and she finished the season unbeaten in both the 100 and 200 breast events. Kirk set a new pool record with a time of 2:08.79 in Saturday's finals.

'Tara swam a courageous race,' said Quick. 'She got out to a quick start and was able to hang on for a satisfying and tough victory.'

Kirk also finished tied for 12th on individual high point total list for the entire meet with 40 points after also winning the 100 breast on Friday.

Stanford's Lacey Boutwell finished fifth in the finals of the 100 free with a time of 49.32.Georgia's Maritza Correia highlighted the other event winners by breaking an American record to win the 100 free in 47.29.

California's Natalie Coughlin won her third 2003 individual NCAA title to win the 200 back for the straight year in a pool record time of 1:50.86.

Southern Methodist's Flavia Rigamonti defended her NCAA title in the 1650 free with a pool record time of 15:43.90.

Other individual winners included Georgia's Mary DeScenza in the 200 fly (1:53.51) and Ohio State's Natalia Diea in platform diving (476.65).

Auburn's 400 free relay team of Becky Short, Eileen Coparropa, Kirsty Coventry and Maggie Bowen set a pool record to win the final event of the day in 3:14.15.

Stanford's 400 relay team of Boutwell, Sarah Jones, Megan Baumgartner and Ashley Daly finished seventh in the finals in 3:20.79.

Dana Kirk finished ninth overall by winning her 200 fly consolation final in 1:56.51, while Kristen Cavelry was 11th overall in the 200 breast after equaling her career-best with a time of 2:12.96 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 had no participants in the 1650 free.

Stanford's sixth place finish was the first time in 23 NCAA Championships that the Cardinal has not finished in the top three at the event and snapped a string of 27 consecutive top three national finishes that extended five years before the first NCAA Championships was held in 1982.

'We're not satisfied with sixth, in fact we wouldn't be satisfied with second,' admitted Quick. 'But now we just need to do what we can to improve for next year and make another run at it.'

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