INDIANAPOLIS - Southern California won the team title with total of 406 points without winning any of the relays, at the NCAA Women's Championships held at the Indiana-Purdue University Natatorium, March 20 to 22. Coach Mark Schubert later expressed his surprise at this. "If you would have told me that we could win it without winning a relay, I would have said 'No way.' It's a testament to the depth of the meet and all of the great teams that are competiting." Stanford finished second with 395 points while Southern Methodist was third with 353.5 points. USC's win ended Stanford's streak of 16 consecutive women's titles.
Day one got off to a fast start for Martina Moravcova, Slovakia. and the Southern Methodist Mustangs. Martina set a pool record in the 200 yard I.M. with a time of 1:55.81. Kristine Quance, USC, was second in 1:56.85, while Shannon Shakespeare, Canada and Michigan was third in 1:58.36. Later in the evening the Lady Mustangs set a second pool record with a 3:35.98 in the 4x100 yard medley relay. SMU's team members were Lia Oberstar (53.22), Katie McClelland (1:00.98), Laura Reback (53.95), and Martina Moravcova (47.83). Southern Cal was second in 3:36.82, and Georgia was third in 3:36.96.
Arizona began the night by winning the 4x50 yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:29.56. Arizona's team was composed of Shannon Hosack (22.34), Liesl Kolbisen (22.42), Denali Knapp (22.77), and Ashley Tappin (22.03). Michigan was second in 1:30.45, and Stanford was third in 1:30.97.
In the 500 yard freestyle Lindsay Benko, USC, won with 4:41.85. Trina Jackson of Arizona had the lead at the first 100 yard but Benko took the lead at the 200 and held on after a strong push by Jackson and Arizona teammate Laurie Kline, who finished second and third respectively in 4:43.21 and 4:44.48.
Catherine Fox, a 1996 relay Olympic Gold Medallist at Stanford, was the winner in the 50 yard freestyle withe a time of 22.01. Arizona's Asley Tappin second in a time of 22.32, while Richelle Depold of North Carolina and Shannon Hosack of Arizona tied for third with a time of 22.47.
Day two saw more pool and an NCAA record fall.
Auburn's 4x50 yard medley relay got the evening off to a fast start with a pool record. Stanford's Catherine Fox took out the race at a fast pace, clocking a 24.92 for the first leg. Georgia's Kristy Kowal then pulled her team into the lead with a time of 27.47. On the third leg, Mimi Bowen of Auburn pulled her team into the lead with a split of 23.42 and teammate Katie Taylor anchored the team with a 22.06.
In the 400 yard I.M. Kristine Quance, USC, won the race easily in 4:06.54, a full 6 seconds ahead of second place finisher Lucy Findlay of Louisiana State (4:12.60). In third was Anne Kampfe of Michigan (4:12.81). After the race Kristine said, "It's the race I wanted to win. It's the race at this meet that was the most important to me. It's always fun to win a race by that much.
"I planned to lead from wire to wire and that's what I did. My teammate (Sarah Maggio) was in the race too and we were hoping for a one-two finish, but it just didn't happen tonight."
Mimi Bowen of Auburn picked up her second medal of the night with a win in the 100 yard butterfly in a time of 52.05. It was a tight race with Richelle Depold of North Carolina, second in 52.61. Jessica Amey, Canada and Stanford was third in 53.31. "I had a lot of adrenaline after the relay," Bowen said. "My fly felt really good and underwater felt good, and I had a lot of confidence going into it.
"I knew Richelle was really fast, and she's a friend of mine, so it wasn't like a rivalry, it was just competitive. I guess God gave me a competitive spirit for a reason." On winning a relay versus an individual event, Mimi said. "In a relay you get to enjoy it with three other people. Winning an individual event is great, but it's more fun to win with others."
Martina Moravcova, SMU, set an NCAA and US Open record in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 1:43.08. Martina led the race by a full body length at the 50 and by two body lengths by the 150.
"It was a surprise, but my goal was to break the record," Martina said. "I did it and I'm very happy. I heard the crowd on the last 50 so I tried to pick it up. I can still improve the third 50."
"I am happy to break a record held by one of swimming's greatest stars - Nicole Haislett."
Gretchen Hegener of Minnesota won the 100 yard breaststroke in a pool record time of 1:00.32, just 6/100 seconds ahead of second-place-finisher Kristy Kowal of Georgia (1:00.38). In a very tight race, Kowal led after the first 50 yards by a mere 4/100. Hegener managed to pull ahead on the second half of the race to win. In third place was Lindsay Etter of UCLA in a time of 1:00.77.
Catherine Fox of Stanford won the 100 yard backstroke in a time of 53.23. She led the race from start to finish. In a close second was Marylyn Chiang, Canada and California, in 53.29. In third was Lia Oberstar of SMU with a time of 53.43.
Southern Methodist picked up its second relay gold medal with a win in the 4x200 yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:09.92. The winning team was composed of Lia Oberstar (1:48.57), Katie McClelland (1:48.34), Katherine Inskeep (1:48.89), and Martina Moravcova, (1:44.12). Arizona was second 7:12.74 and Stanford was third in 7:13.83.
The final evening got off to quite a start, with Arizona teammates Trina Jackson and Laurie Kline finishing one-two in the 1650 yard freestyle 15:59.82 and 16:03.78. Julie Varozza of Georgia finished third in 16:13.08.
The women's 200 yard backstroke was a remarkable race with Lia Oberstar of Southern Methodist and Lindsay Benko, USC, neck-and-neck throughout the race to the point of having identical split times for the second 50 (28.77) and third 50 (29.22). Benko finished first in 1:54.42 while Oberstar finished a close second in 1:54.52. Marylyn Chiang of California was third in 1:56.30.
In the 100 yard freestyle, Martina Moravcova picked up her third individual gold of the meet in a time of 48.18. Her performance also secured her the individual title. Shannon Shakespeare of Michigan was second in 48.55, while Catherine Fox of Stanford was third in 48.78.
In the 200 yard breaststroke, Kristine Quance picked up her second gold medal of the meet and helped lock up the team title for Southern Cal. Julia Russell, South Africa and Nebraska, was second in 2:10.32, while Kristy Kowal of Georgia was third in 2:11.08.
Lia Oberstar, having been narrowly beaten earlier in the evening in the 200 yard backstroke, made sure in the 200 yard butterfly. She won the race in 1:56.76, with Karen Campbell, USC, second in 1:56.98. Karen's teammate Jean Ellis Todisco was third in 1:58.47.
Stanford won the final event of the meet, the 4x100 yard freestyle relay. The winning time was 3:16.72, with Michigan in second in 3:17.19. Third place was initially awarded to Southern Methodist but they were disqualified. immediately following. Third place went to Arizona, with a time of 3:19.42.
Martina Moravcova of Southern Methodist was the winner of the individual high point title with a total of 60 points. Southern Cal teammates Kristine Quance and Lindsay Benko tied for second place with 57 points.
1) SOUTHERN CAL 406.0 2) STANFORD 395.0 3) SOUTHERN METHOD. 353.5 4) ARIZONA 351.5 5) GEORGIA 312.0 6) MICHIGAN 264.5 7) AUBURN 240.0 8) NEBRASKA 174.5 9) CALIFORNIA 148.0 10) TEXAS 146.5