Jan. 18, 2012
Live Stats: Stanford Men v. ASU | Stanford Women v. ASU | Diving v. ASU
Stanford Men & Women v. Arizona | Diving v. Arizona
STANFORD, Calif.-- The No. 6-ranked Stanford women's swim team (4-1) hits a key two week stretch, beginning when it hosts No. 24-ranked Arizona State on Friday at 2 p.m and No. 5-ranked Arizona (8-1 record prior to swimming at Cal) on Saturday in a dual meet at 11 a.m.
The dual meet with the Wildcats has been pushed back an hour from earlier schedules. The ASU men will also swim on Friday, two hours earlier, at noon.
Stanford then hits the highway to swim at UCLA on January 27 and at No. 3-ranked USC on January 28.
Against the next four schools, Stanford is a combined 41-3 since 2001, going undefeated against USC and ASU (11-0 a piece) and winning the last eight in a row over Arizona and last five in a row over UCLA. The Cardinal closes out its dual schedule on February 11 versus Cal, before looking to defend its back-to-back Pac-12 titles on February 22 for seventh year head coach Lea Maurer.
In what should be a battle of sprint programs on Saturday, Stanford's foursome of Sam Woodward, Andi Murez, Betsy Webb and Maddy Schaefer have a nation's best 1:28.20 in the 200 free relay and the second-fastest time in the 400 free relay (3:13.76) to Arizona's mark of 3:12.76. The Wildcats also post top-two times in the 200 medley (No. 2) and 400 medley (No. 1). Stanford checks in at No. 10 and No. 11 in the two multi-event relays.
Woodward, the Oklahoma senior, ranks No. 5 in the 50 free (22.13) and No. 2 in the 100 fly (52.06). Woodward, fellow senior, Webb and freshman Schaefer all have 50 or 100 free sprint times in the national top-15 and will have to contend with Arizona's Margo Geer, Kait Fiderbach and Emma Darlington. Geer holds the nation's second-fastest 100 free time.
In diving, Stephanie Phipps is coming off a sweep of the 1- and 3-meter at the Stanford Diving Invite last weekend. Phipps has won eight of twelve, 1- and 3-meter events this season.
Last year against the two desert schools, Phipps finished fourth in all four events. Returner Sam Pickens won the dual meet for Arizona in the 1- and 3-meter, with Ashley Herrera and Ainsley Oliver also returning. Cardinal Meg Hostage, who graduated, swept ASU. ASU continues to feature Elina Eggers and Hailey Casper. At Zones last season three of the top four spots in the 3-meter came from the three schools this weekend. Eggers and Phipps finished 2-3.
Stanford sophomore Maya DiRado continues to hold the nation's fastest 200 back time (1:52.57), just over a second faster than Arizona's Sarah Denninghoff (1:54.06). DiRado has one of the nation's top three times in each individual medley, as Wildcat Lindsay Seeman and ASU's Mattie Kukors each rank in the back half of the top-25 rankings.
Stanford should get a boost for the final two months from senior Kerry Kraemer. A conference and NCAA participant in the breast stroke, Kraemer swam for the first time with the Cardinal against Pacific. Kraemer studied in Europe in the fall. Kraemer enters her final season No. 5 at Stanford in the 100 breast.