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UCSD Women, Cal State-Bakersfield Men Lead After First Day at PCSC Champs -- February 21, 2003

BELMONT SHORES, CA., February 21. U Cal San Diego freshman Sophie Levy won the 500 yard freestyle in 5:00.25 to help propel her Triton teammates to the team lead after the first day of the 2003 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships.

The meet is under way through Saturday at Long Beach's Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.

Twelve events were contested on Thursday (six women, six men) with UCSD winning a pair on the women's side. The Triton women are the defending champions, while the men finished fourth a year ago. Coach Bob Steele's Cal State Bakersfield men, triple-defending NCAA Division II champs, lead the men's standings.

Levy's 5:00.25 was her seasonal-best. In addition, the Triton women won first-place honors in the 200 free relay in 1:36.28, ahead of Division II rival UC Davis and Division I squads like Pepperdine, USD and Loyola Marymount.

Other top UCSD performances included a third-place effort by the 400 medley relay team (3:53.56), and sophomore Rosanna Delurgio's bronze-medal finish in the 50 free (24.13). Sophomore Christine Hyjek was fourth in the 200 individual nedley in 2:06.93 while senior co-captain Jennifer Watanabe (2:07.54) and freshman diver Jennifer Margrave put together fifth-place showings in the 200 IM and 1-meter board, respectively.

USD got an outstanding performance from freshman Ashley Swart, a Honolulu native who's going to stamp her mark on the Torero program before she's finished.

She swam a pr- and school-record 2:02.95 to win the 200 IM gold, and also swam on USD's medley relay.

UCSD started off with a bang by winning the 200 free relay (1:36.28). Cal Davis was second (1:36.57) and Pepperdine (1:37.60) third.

Following Levy's 500 free win with Cal Baptist's Lyndsay Devaney second (5:01.42), Swart splashed to the gold in the 200 IM with teammate Carolyn Gorrick (2:03.65) second.

Bakersfield's Lorii Brown was quickest in the 50 free (23.57) and Cal Baptist's Jessica Wild turned in a 23.71 for runner-up -- good enough to make the NCAA Division II standard.

Bakersfield's Laura LaFranchise lived up to her name on the 1-meter springboard, taking first with 399.80 points. Pepperrdine's Michelle Barker (375.00) was second.

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On the men's side, Bakersfield "cruised" to a two-second win in the opening 200 free relay over UCSD, 1:22.23-1:24.48, with Seattle (1:25.39) third.

Roadrunner Vlasta Burda, one of the greatest DII distance swimmers in history, won the 500 in a solid 4:23.56. U Cal Santa Cruz's defending NCAA DIII champ Ben Weston (4:30.66) came home second.

In the 200 IM, Cal Baptist's Felix Sutanto made short shrift of the field with a 1:50.75 win to Cal Bakersfield's Jacob Praire's 1:53.05. A former Cal state community college champ in the IMs and the backstrokes at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA., Sutanto is going to open more than a few eyes at the NCAA DII Championships next month -- and perform some record-breaking feats too.

In the 50 free UC Davis' John Smith led a 1-2 Aggie sweep, winning in 20.88 to teammate Pat Jacobson's 21.00.

Bakersfield took its second relay gold with a 3:25.30-3:25.82 win over Davis in the 400 medley, and Cal Baptist won the bronze (3:26.69).

-- Bill Bell