February 4, 1999
This week: Top-ranked Stanford finishes the home schedule with a pair of dual meets. Friday Stanford will swim a three-way dual meet with No. 15 Nebraska and unranked UC Santa Barbara at deGuerre Pool, starting at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, in the final home meet for Stanford's seniors, the Cardinal will take on rival USC. The Trojans, currently ranked fourth nationally, will visit deGuerre at 1:00 p.m. Saturday.
Stanford Story: The Cardinal (7-0, 2-0 Pac-10) has been ranked No. 1 all season after winning the 1998 NCAA title. Stanford opened the season with a 149-102 victory at Notre Dame, then posted a dramatic 122-121 win over No. 2 Texas in Austin on Oct. 31. The Cardinal trailed going into the final event, but won the 400 freestyle relay to capture the meet. Stannford has also defeated San Francisco State (135-59), Cal State Bakersfield (126-76) and Pacific (123-74). Stanford opened the Pac-10 dual season with road wins at No. 5 Arizona (140-90) and No. 10 Arizona State (138.5-98.5) on Jan. 22 and 23. After this weekend, Stanford will visit No. 8 California to conclude the dual-meet season. The Cardinal will then head to Long Beach for the Pac-10 Championships, to be hosted by Stanford at Belmont Plaza. The Cardinal will attempt to win its 18th consecutive Pac-10 title. Stanford's run of 17 straight Pac-10 crowns is the longest in the history of the Pac-10 Conference, for any sport, breaking the record set by UCLA's men's basketball program under John Wooden.
Opponent Outlook: No. 15 Nebraska brings an 8-2 overall record and a perfect 3-0 mark in the Big 12 into Friday's meet. The Cornhuskers have defeated No. 18 SMU, No. 20 Harvard, No. 22 Iowa State and then-No. 23 Kansas and suffered a narrow 55-44 loss to No. 3 Auburn. They are led by provisional NCAA qualifiers Anthony Rogis (free, fly), Adam Pine (fly, free), Valery Kalmikovs (breast) and Michael Windisch (IM), and divers Erik Cook and Danny Bergman. UC Santa Barbara is currently 5-3 on the season and is receiving votes in this week's national top-25 coaches poll. They are led by versatile senior Carl Larsen. He has NCAA qualifying times in the 500 and 1,650 free as well as the 400 IM, and also has team bests in the 200 free, the 200 IM, both butterflies and the 200 breast. No. 4 USC is 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the Pac-10, going into Friday's meet at California. They are led by Bela Szabados, of Hungary, who has NCAA provisional qualifying times in three freestyle events plus the 200 fly, and breaststroker Ryosuke Imai.
Senior Salute: Eight Stanford seniors will compete in their final home meet Saturday against the USC Trojans. This senior class was a huge part of Stanford's NCAA title last year, and of the Cardinal's success in general over the last four years. Stanford swimming's members of the Class of '99 are: 1998 NCAA 200 back champion Tate Blahnik (Temple TX/Suffern), NCAA relay champion Justin Ewers (Phoeniz, AZ/Arcadia), 1998 NCAA 200 breast runner-up Blake Holden (Bay City, TX/Bay City), Pac-10 scorer Casey Ketterling (Mesa, AZ/Dobson), NCAA All-American Matt O'Mara (Reno, NV/Bishop Manogue), 1998 NCAA 200 fly champion Matthew Pierce (The Woodlands, TX/McCullough), Pac-10 finalist Dan Schultz (Bedford, IN/Bedford N. Lawrence) and two-time NCAA relay champion Dod Wales (Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier). Stanford is 29-1 in dual meets during their tenure on the Farm, winning three Pac-10 titles , so far, and finishing fourth, second and first at the NCAA Championships.