Feb. 22, 2001
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The USC Trojans hold a slim lead after the first day of action at the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, while a pair of champions from last year successfully defended their crowns at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center Thursday.
Finals were held in six events, with the Trojans piling up 360.5 points to pace the nine Pac-10 schools competing in the meet. Only Oregon does not sponsor a swimming team. Defending champion Arizona sits in second place with 342 points, followed in order by UCLA 324, California 294, Stanford 282.5, Arizona State 170, Washington State 131, Washington 115 and Oregon State 102.
Stanford's Jessica Foschi and Kellie Brennan from USC both defended titles they won last year. Foschi captured first place in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of four minutes, 39.74 seconds, while Brennan was the winner in the one-meter diving competition, scoring 317.0 points.
A total of nine champions from last year's meet are back to defend their titles, while three members of USA's Olympic team of 2000 are also competing. The Olympians include Amanda Beard from Arizona, Misty Human from Stanford and California's Staciana Stitts.
Stitts swam the second leg of the Bear's 400 medley relay team Thursday that finished second to Stanford. Last summer she was a member of the USA team that captured the 400IM gold medal.
Beard, who finished third in the 200 individual medley relay in the opening day of Pac-10 meet, was the bronze medal winner in the 200 breaststroke. Hyman was the gold medal winner in the 200 butterfly.
Several records were set in the first day of competition, including an American and Pac-10 meet mark by California's Natalie Couglin in the 100 backstroke. She was timed in :52.40, bettering the old mark of :53.00 by Stanford's Lea Loveless in 1994. Coughlin's performance came as the leadoff leg in the 400 medley relay race.
Three other meet records were set Thursday, including California's Haley Cope, who bettered the 50 freestyle standard with a :22.32 performance. She was just under the old mark of :22.50 by Stanford's Jenny Thompson in 1994.
California's 200 freestyle relay team swam 1:30.78 to improve on the old meet record of 1:30.94, first set in 1998 by Stanford and equaled last year by California. Stanford's 400 medley relay team also made it into the meet record book with a 3:35.40 performance, erasing California's 3:35.71 standard set last year.
Action continues Friday with eight events, then concludes Saturday with the final seven contests.
In addition to the nine teams competing in women's swimming, the five Pac-10 schools that sponsor women's and men's diving are also entered in the meet.