Feb. 15, 2007
LONG BEACH, Calif. -
As the second day of the 2007 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Swimming Championships in Long Beach, Calif. concluded, two ASU school records were set and two automatic NCAA Championship berths were earned in both the 50 free and 200 free relay.
Junior Caitlin Andrew was only able to enjoy having set an ASU 50 freestyle (22.63) for a few short hours-until she re-entered the water for the event's finals round and broke her own school standard. After breaking the 50 free record, previously set by Claire Hedenskog in 2001, in the event's preliminary round, the San Antonio, Texas native improved her time by .24 seconds in the finals round, finishing in 22.39. Andrew's newest in her collection of Sun Devil records added another automatic NCAA Championship berth in the event and placed sixth overall in the Pac-10.
Joining Andrew in the 50 free finals was sophomore Jen Beckberger, who improved upon her preliminary time by .06 seconds, finishing in a personal best time of 22.91, which ranks as the third-fastest time in the event in school history. Following her performance in the 50 free finals, Beckberger earned another NCAA 'B' qualifying standard and tied for seventh overall in the Pac-10 Conference.
Andrew and Beckberger would also join freshman Jess Perazzo and senior Abra Armour as members of ASU's 200 freestyle relay which added its collective name into the Sun Devil history books, setting a school record and attaining an automatic NCAA Championships appearance by finishing in 1:30.84. The previous mark of 1:31.74 was set in 2005 by Florencia Szigeti, Andrew, Laura Ullrich and Heidi Schmidt. In addition to the relay's overall accomplishment, Andrew is credited with an NCAA 50 freestyle 'A' cut for her leadoff time of 22.58. Each member swam incredibly, as Beckberger followed Andrew and sped through the second leg, completing in 22.35, followed by Perazzo's contribution of a 23.07 50 freestyle on the third leg. Armour, a team co-captain, anchored the historic relay and ultimately touched in 22.84 to place the four as the best 200 relay in the history of Arizona State University's women's swimming.
The impressive relay finish was good enough for fourth in the Pac-10 and the right the relay earned to compete at the NCAA Championships will largely increase the team's overall scoring potential when ASU travels to Minneapolis, Minn. for the NCAA Championships in March.
Thursday marked the second school record relay performance in as many days, as on Wednesday, Andrew and Beckberger joined senior Carissa Abe and freshman Sara McDaniel among the standard-setting 200 medley relay which completed the event in an NCAA 'B' qualifying time of 1:40.08.
After setting 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay records Thursday, Andrew now holds four individual ASU records (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly and 100 back) and two relay records (200 free relay and 200 medley relay), and her six overall school records are the most by a swimmer in ASU history.
In addition to the record-breaking individual and relay efforts by the Sun Devils, junior Sarah Fischer competed in the 500 freestyle consolation bonus round, as did Armour and Perazzo for the 50 free. Armour joined Andrew and Beckberger as recipients of individual and relay NCAA marks, as she attained a 50 freestyle 'B' cut, finishing in 23.34.
The completion of Thursday's events marks the midway point of the 2007 Pac-10 Championships, and the impressive series of performances enabled ASU to improve its overall standing, and ranks eighth overall with 178 points. Friday will showcase the preliminary and final rounds of the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back, as ASU looks to continue to add to its record book and compete for individual and team acclaim against the very best in the Pac-10 Conference.