Feb. 16, 2000
This week: No. 6 Stanford hosts No. 4 California Saturday at noon at deGuerre Pool in the final dual meet of the season for both teams. The meet will be contested in short-course yards. The competition also marks the final home outing of the season for the Cardinal. Stanford and Cal have a storied rivalry in men's swimming, although Stanford has had the upper hand of late. The Golden Bears last beat the Cardinal in a dual meet on Feb. 23, 1991, with the Cardinal winning the eight meetings since then. A year ago, however, the two teams battled for all three days at the Pac-10 Championships. Cal led almost the entire meet, but Stanford captured the 21st and final event, the 400 free relay, to pass the Bears and win the league title. It was the Cardinal's 18th consecutive Pac-10 title, an all-time league record.
Stanford Story: The Cardinal (5-3, 2-1 Pac-10) started the season ranked No. 1 nationally after finishing second at the 1999 NCAA Championships. Stanford opened the season with two invitational meets, then kicked off the dual-meet season at home on Nov. 5. No. 3 Texas beat the top-ranked Cardinal, but Stanford bounced back to defeat British Columbia and San Francisco State in dual meets. The Cardinal fell to No. 9 Michigan to return from winter break, but rebounded to defeat No. 11 Arizona State at deGuerre Pool. The young Cardinal squad nearly knocked off No. 2 Arizona as well, using a one-two-three sweep of the 200 breaststroke to tie the meet going into the final relay, but Stanford couldn't pull out the 400 free relay and lost a narrow decision. Stanford then beat Pacific fairly handily and defeated No. 5 USC 128-115 on Jan. 29 in its last outing. USC upset the Cardinal in the 400-meter medley relay to start the meet and Stanford had to battle from behind most of the day before clinching the contest with a victory in the 400-meter free relay, the final event of the day. Cardinal freshman John Waters and junior Adam Messner went one-two in the 200-meter freestyle, junior Steven Brown posted an automatic NCAA qualifying time in winning the 200-meter butterfly, and freshmen Randall Bal and Dan Westcott and junior Rob Canales swept the 200-meter backstroke. Freshman Gavin Olmstead won both the one-meter and three-meter diving events to add valuable points, and junior Anthony Robinson, Waters, sophomore Jeff Guyman and senior Glenn Counts captured the final relay. Saturday's meet will mark the final home appearances for Cardinal seniors Glenn Counts (Kingwood, TX/Kingwood HS), Mark Michelin (Barrington, IL/Barrington HS), Steve Ronson (Tustin, CA/Irvine HS) and Kurt Spenser (Ann Arbor, MI/Pioneer HS).
Opponent Outlook: No. 4 California is 6-2 overall and, like Stanford, is 2-1 in the Pac-10. While Stanford beat No. 5 USC and lost to No. 2 Arizona, Cal beat the Wildcats but fell to the Trojans. Senior Bart Kizierowski, who has Cal's best times in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles and both backstrokes, is a contender for NCAA individual titles in the sprints. Senior Ratapong Sirisanont has been dominant in the 200 breast and the 400 IM and has the squad's top times in the distance free as well. Sophomore Andrew Chan, who won the 400 breaststroke in record time at the annual double-distance meet at deGuerre in November, also broke the Cal unshaved record in the 100 breaststroke this season. A year ago Stanford beat Cal 174-121 in Berkeley, winning 14 of 16 swimming events.