Caverly Moves On To Saturday's NCAA Championship Finals
March 18, 2006
Athens, Ga. - Kristen Caverly continued an outstanding meet by swimming a season-best time of 2:11.86 in the 200 breast prelims on Saturday to move into the evening finals of the event at the 2006 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. Caverly jumped up five spots from her No. 7 seed and equaled the mark of USC's Rebecca Soni, who came into the NCAA's as the top seed in the 200 breast.
Stanford and USC are expected to engage in a tight battle for fifth-place overall at the meet during Saturday evening's finals session. The Cardinal holds a 24-point lead heading into Saturday night's action but Caverly will be the only Stanford participant in Saturday's championship finals, while USC had two swimmers (Soni, Rhiannon Jeffrey - 100 free) qualify for the championship races. The Women of Troy also have diver Blythe Hartley, who has swept the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events to start the NCAA's, entered in Saturday's platform diving competition while the Cardinal does not have a participant. Stanford does have three entries in Saturday night's consolation finals in Dana Kirk (200 fly), Andrea Axtell (200 back) and its 400 free relay squad, while USC has only its 400 free relay team that just missed a spot in the championship finals by taking ninth in the prelims.
Kirk (10th, 1:57.98) had made the championship finals of the 200 fly each of the last two seasons but was .20 seconds behind the eighth and final spot, while the freshman Axtell (13th, 1:57.31) reached the consolation finals of an NCAA event for the first time. Stanford's 400 free relay team of Madeline Rovira, Brooke Bishop, Desiree Stahley and Kirk recorded a season-best time of 3:21.45 to finish 14th in the prelims.
Others to participate in individual events during Saturday's prelims for Stanford were Bishop (200 back, 18th, 1:58.13), Laura Davis (200 fly, 23rd, season-best 2:00.58) and Rovira (100 free, 51st, 50.73).
Team-leader Georgia had three of the top four top qualifiers in individual events during Saturday's prelims in Kara Lynn Joyce (100 free, 48.31), Sarah Poewe (200 breast, 2:11.57) and Mary Descenza (200 fly, 1:55.35). California's Helen Silver qualified first in the 200 back with a time of 1:54.25.
Auburn was the top qualifier in the prelims of the 400 free relay with a team of Margo McCawley, Emily Kukors, Kara Denby and Jana Kolukanova posting a 3:16.54 mark.
The platform diving finals begin at 1 pm, ET/10 am, PT.
Lauren Costella, Elizabeth Durot and Stahley will participate in heats three (Costella and Stahley) and four (Durot) of the 1650 free timed finals. The first four heats of the 1650 free are scheduled to begin at 4:35 pm, ET/1:35 pm, PT. The fifth and final heat will be contested with Saturday evening's finals session (7 pm, ET/4 pm, PT) that will conclude the three-day short-course yards meet being held at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia.