Nov. 14, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 13 Arizona State women's swimming and diving team (2-1, 0-1) opened their Pac-10 season this afternoon, falling to No. 11 UCLA (4-0, 1-0) 186-114 at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. The meet featured several outstanding swims for the Sun Devils who got a big day from ?gnes Kov?cs, as the junior All-American notched two NCAA automatic qualifying times.
In a meet swum in short course meters, Kov?cs came away with convincing wins in all three races she entered. In the 100m breaststroke she was more than a second under the NCAA "A" time, touching the wall in 1:08.17 to defeat her nearest competitor by nearly four seconds. That merely set the stage for her performance in the 200m breaststroke, where the 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the long course 200m breast was over three seconds below the NCAA automatic qualifying time and defeated her nearest opponent by nearly eight seconds. Kov?cs wrapped up her day with a victory in the 400m IM (4:47.20), recording a NCAA consideration time in the process. According to the latest Taper & Shave College Quick 50, Kov?cs' times in both breaststroke events would be the fastest in the nation.
The other individual win in the swimming pool for the Sun Devils on the day was by junior All-American Florencia Szigeti, who grabbed victory in the 100m freestyle. The school record holder in this event, Szigeti recorded a 56.02 to notch an NCAA consideration time and victory in the race by almost a full second. Szigeti finished second in the 50m free (26.18), also getting a NCAA "B" time there. ASU's 200m medley relay of Erin Baldinger, Kov?cs, Florence Mauro and Szigeti took home first in the day's opening event with a time of 1:55.28.
Senior All-American Petra Banovic earned an NCAA consideration time in her second place finish in the 200m freestyle (2:02.87) and also finished third in the 400m free (4:19.97).
UCLA had two swimmers record NCAA automatic qualifying times on the afternoon, senior Malin Svahnstrom in the 200m free (2:01.58) and sophomore Kim Vandenberg in the 200m fly (2:11.32).
In the diving pool, junior All-American Trisha Tumlinson nabbed a first-place finish for the Sun Devils with her effort of 286.95 on the 1-meter and she finished second on the 3-meter with a 267.68. Jessica Stenson finished fourth for ASU on both the 1-meter (247.95) and the 3-meter (249.60). UCLA's Paige Thompson was victorious on the 3-meter with an effort of 329.70.
Arizona State's men's and women's swimming and diving teams will be in action tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. at the Mona Plummer aquatic center when they host the fifth-ranked USC Trojans.