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April 08, 2005

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, April 08, 2005

Kirk completes a big swimming sweep Kirk completes a big swimming sweep (April 08, 2005)

Stanford grad adds 200 breast to her 100 title in World Trials

by Rick Eymer

This time, Tara Kirk had enough in reserve to finish strong, and it earned her a second World Championship swimming title at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

Kirk, who won four NCAA 100 breast titles and three NCAA 200 breast titles while swimming for Stanford, used a strong finish to record a personal best 2:26.64 in winning the 200 breast at the World Championships.

Last year Kirk failed to make the Olympic team in the event after finishing fifth at the trials in 2:28.42.

"I'm happy I won and I'm happy I didn't die like at trials," Kirk said. "It was a good race for me, and good practice for the way I need to swim it. Traditionally I've been known to out fast and die. A really painful last 50 is what I'm used to. It's better to use my speed on the last 50 than on the first 50."

Kirk won the 100 breast title earlier in the meet in 1:07.11, the second fastest time in the world this season to Australia's Leisel Jones' 1:07.07. Her 200 breast time is also the second fastest in the world.

Stanford's Kristen Caverly made a strong push over the final 50 to finish second in a personal best 2:27.31 and qualify for the World Championship team along with Kirk.

Stanford freshman Carolina Bruce was fifth in 2:31.38, off her PR of 2:27.22, which earned her a spot on last summer's Olympic team in the event.

Rebecca Soni held the lead after the 100 before Kirk caught and passed her at the 01509 mark. Caverly overtook Soni in the final 50.

Stanford men's swimming assistant coach Ted Knapp will serve as an assistant with the women's world team.

Stanford's Randall Bal (100 back), Jayme Cramer (800 free relay) and Ben Wildman-Tobriner (400 free relay) are on the men's world championship team which will compete at the FINA international meet in Montreal in July.

Caverly scored 46 points in the meet, tied for sixth-best. Kirk had 40 points and Bruce accumulated 38 points.

Stanford's Lauren Costella finished third in the 1,500 free on Wednesday with a time of 16:44.22, though the roster for both the World Championships and World University Games were already set.

Stanford's Shaun Phillips was sixth in the men's 1,500 free in 15:38.93 and Peter Marshall was seventh in the 200 back in 2:02.85.

Bruce made the World University Games team in the 200 IM. Gary Marshall (50 breast, 100 breast), Peter Marshall (50 back, 100 back), Phillips (800 free relay), and Kyle Ransom (400 free relay) are on the men's team.

The World University Games will held in Izmir, Turkey on Aug. 11-12.

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