Feb. 14, 2009
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BERKELEY, Calif. - On a day that saw the Cardinal record three NCAA "A" qualifying times, the No. 2 Stanford women's swimming and diving team (20-0, 7-0 Pac-10) posted a 162-129 victory at No. 11 California (4-4, 2-2) in a Pacific-10 Conference dual meet this afternoon. The meet, which was held at Berkeley's Spieker Aquatics Complex, was contested in a 25-yard short course format and featured 14 swimming and two diving events.
With the win, Stanford featured the dual meet regular season undefeated for the second time and three years and the 15th time in program history. The Cardinal's 20-0 record featured nine wins in head-to-head competition over a two-day span at the Anteater Shootout (Nov. 7-8), victories over Michigan and Florida in an Oct. 17 tri-meet and nine wins in the traditional two-team, dual meet format. Stanford defeated all six ranked teams that it swam against.
The Cardinal women have also won 19 straight Pac-10 dual meets, while Stanford has defeated 41 of its last 42 opponents in head-to-head competition.
Today's win was highlighted by three Stanford swimmers that secured their place at the 2009 NCAA Championships by recording automatic "A" qualifying times. Freshman Betsy Webb won the 100 backstroke in 52.88, which represents the third fastest time in Stanford history. She was just .03-second behind the second place time in school annals (52.79), achieved by Cardinal head coach Lea Maurer (then Loveless) in 1992.
Sophomore Liz Smith, who had already qualified for the NCAAs in the 400 IM, will also compete in the 200 breaststroke after winning today's event in 2:09.84. Although she had already qualified for the NCAAs in the event, junior Elaine Breeden added another "A" time in the 200 butterfly with an event-winning 1:54.00. Breeden later fell just .36-second shy of an "A" cut in the 100 fly, finishing second with a 52.38.
Cardinal divers also recorded a trio "A" qualifying scores for the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships en route to a sweep of the two competitions. Junior Carmen Stellar, the reigning Pac-10 Diver of the Month, won the 3-meter with a score of 308.93 that is her career high for a dual meet. Sophomore Meg Hostage then captured the 1-meter by tallying a 288.97, while she finished second on the 3-meter with an "A" score of 283.05. Senior Sarah Ohr earned two "B" scores, finishing third on both the 3-meter (279.90 - a mere .10-point shy of an "A" cut) and the 1-meter (256.12).
Stanford was impressive all day in the win, as many of its scoring efforts were strong NCAA "B" times. Smith (1:01.18) and senior Caroline Bruce (1:01.53) finished 1-2 in the 100 breast, while senior Laura Wadden (1:56.30) and junior Julia Smit (1:56.89) followed suit in the 200 back. Wadden also logged a "B" time of 53.48 in her third-place finish in the 100 back. Both Bruce (2nd - 2:11.56) and her sister, freshman Jamie Bruce (4th - 2:15.39) earned "B" times in the 200 breast. Smit later won the 500 free with a "B" time of 4:43.74, while junior Whitney Spence finished third in 4:46.32.
Sophomore Kate Dwelley was just .69-second shy of the "A" cut in the 200 free with a second-place time of 1:44.71, and Spence was fifth in 1:47.28. Dwelley also recorded a "B" time in the 100 free, finishing third in 49.02. Freshman Sam Woodward tallied a pair of "B" cuts in freestyle events, finishing third in the 50 (22.46) and second in the 100 (48.84). Junior Kelley Hug finished fourth in the 100 fly, touching the wall in 53.71.
The Cardinal had a pair of teams with "B" times in the meet-opening 200 medley relay: the "A" team of Webb, Smith, Breeden and Woodward won in 1:38.58, while the "B" foursome of junior Stefanie Sutton, Caroline Bruce, Hug and senior Madeline Rovira finished third in 1:41.49.
Before swimming exhibitions in the final two events, Stanford received scoring efforts from Smit (1st - 9:37.35), freshman Angela Duckworth (3rd - 9:50.45) and junior Caitlin Reynolds (5th - 10:01.75) in the 1,000 free; Hug (4th - 55.54) in the 100 back; Jamie Bruce (4th - 1:02.91) in the 100 breast; Wadden (3rd - 1:59.64) in the 200 fly; Webb (5th - 23.17) in the 50 free; Hug (3rd - 1:58.47) in the 200 back and freshman Jessica Rodriquez (5th - 4:51.51) in the 500 free.
Stanford will now prepare for the 2009 Pac-10 Championships, which will take place from February 25-28 in Federal Way, Wash.