Tara Kirk Takes Third In 200 Meter Breast At 2003 Spring Nationals

April 2, 2003

Indianapolis, IN - Tara Kirk finished third in the finals of the 200 meter breast at the 2003 ConocoPhillips Spring National Championships at the Indiana University Natatorium on Wednesday. Kirk, the American record holder and two-time NCAA champion in the 200 yard breast, finished the long course version of the event in a time of 2:30.62. Arizona State's Agnes Kovacs captured the title in a time of 2:29.48 and 200 meter breast American record holder Kristy Kowal (Athens Bulldogs Swim Club) was second in 2:29.69.

'I was happy with the race I swam today considering it was only the second time I have been in a long course race since last August,' said Kirk. 'I think that I keep swimming this race a little better every time out.'

'Tara improved dramatically between the prelims and the finals today,' added Stanford head coach Richard Quick, in reference to Kirk's fifth-fastest qualifying time of 2:33.47 earlier Wednesday. 'She swam well in the finals but there are still a couple of areas where she could improve to allow her to swim this race much faster.'

Kirk, who just finished her junior season of competition at Stanford last month by sweeping the 100 and 200 yard breast at the 2003 NCAA Championships, is the only current member of the Stanford women's swimming and diving team competing at the Spring National Championships and is entered in the 100 meter breast on Friday.

'I'm looking forward to swimming a good 100 meter breast,' said Kirk, who was the silver medallist in the event at the 2002 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and the 2001 Summer Senior Nationals.

'I think Tara will swim a good 100 meter breast,' confirmed Quick. 'She'll be racing against some top notch competition, but she has as good of a chance to win as anyone.'

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