Men's Swimming Heads to Pac-10 Championships
No. 1 Cardinal shoots for an 18th consecutive league title.
March 3, 1999
This week: Top-ranked Stanford heads to Long Beach for the 1999 Pac-10 Conference Men's Swimming Championships. The Cardinal has won 17 straight Pac-10 Swimming & Diving titles, the most in Pac-10 history for any sport. After defeating No. 4 USC, No. 6 Arizona, No. 7 California and No. 11 Arizona State already this year (unranked Washington was not on the Cardinal's schedule), Stanford comes into the Pac-10 meet as the favorite once again. Stanford University is actually the host of the Pac-10 Championships, which run Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. each day with finals beginning at 6 p.m.
Stanford Story: The Cardinal (11-0, 4-0 Pac-10) has been ranked No. 1 all season after winning the 1998 NCAA title. Stanford opened the 1998-99 season with a 149-102 victory at Notre Dame last fall, 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. Stanford has not faced No. 3 Auburn this season, but also has wins over No. 4 USC, No. 6 Arizona, No. 7 California, No. 11 Arizona State and No. 14 Nebraska en route to a perfect regular-season. Stanford has lost only two dual meets since 1992 and has won 20 straight since 1997. The Cardinal has been led by its senior tandem of Tate Blahnik and Dod Wales this year. Blahnik is the defending NCAA Champion in the 200 backstroke, while Wales finished in the top three at the NCAA Championships in both the 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. Already this season Blahnik has the nation's second-fastest time in the 200 back and the fourth-fastest time in the 100 back, while Wales has the nation's top time in the 100 fly and the sixth-fastest mark in the 100 free. other Stanford swimmers with national top-10 times this season include: Rob Canales (fifth in the 400 IM and sixth in the 200 IM), Anthony Robinson (sixth in the 100 breast), Adam Messner (eighth in the 200 free), Steven Brown (ninth in the 400 IM), Justin Ewers (ninth in the 100 back) and Jeremy Kane (ninth in the 1650 free). Stanford also has recorded several very fast relay times this season, ranking second nationally in the 400 medley relay and sixth in the 400 free relay. Additionally, Matthew Pierce, the defending NCAA champion in the 200 fly, has the nation's 10th-fastest time in that event. He had shoulder surgery earlier this winter, however, and will not compete again this season.
Pac-10 Meet Results: Results of the Pac-10 Championships will be posted on the Stanford Athletic website, www.gostanford.com, and made available through Info-Connection, the Pac-10's fax-back service. To access Info-Connection, dial 800-868-2007 from the handset of your fax machine, then enter your PIN code. Then type in 72210 for the Pac-10, and 1152 for the document number. Both Info-Connection and the web site will be updated daily. To receive an Info-Connection PIN, call them at 770-399-0096.
Meet Outlook: The Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships are in Long Beach this week, but the Pac-10 Men's Diving Championships took place last week in Federal Way, Wash. The three diving events - one-meter springboard, three-meter springboard and 10-meter platform - count in the overall scoring the same as the 13 individual swimming events. Stanford's Mark Michelin finished fourth in each event...In addition to vying for the league championship, the six teams competing in Long Beach this week (Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State do not have men's swimming and diving teams) will be attempting to qualify as many swimmers as possible for the upcoming NCAA Championships, to be held in Indianapolis March 25-27...The top 16 swimmers in the prelims will advance to the finals session and score team points, with the top eight in the championship final (20 team points for first, 17 for second, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11) and the second eight in the consolation final (9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). Team points are doubled for relays.
Pac-10 Meet Schedule
Prelims are at 11 a.m. each day
Finals are at 6 p.m. each day
There will be no prelims for relays
Thursday, March 4
Friday, March 5
Saturday, March 6