March 13, 2012
Release | Live Stats
Stanford Women’s Swimming, who has finished in the top-five at the NCAA meet in each of Lea Maurer’s six seasons, will head to Auburn, Ala., for the three-day national meet starting on Thursday following a second place showing at the Pac-12 Championships.
WatchESPN.com will stream live the finals on Friday and Saturday, as the other rounds will be streamed through auburntigers.com.
Stanford features the nation’s fastest 200 free and 800 free relay teams, sophomore Maya DiRado who ranks in the national top-five in the 200 back, 200 IM and 400 IM and Sam Woodward, in her final NCAA meet, ranking No. 4 nationally in the 100 fly.
NCAA History for Cardinal
Stanford has won eight NCAA titles since 1983 and has been a national runner-up or third place finisher 16 times since 1981, most recently as a silver medalist in 2010, one of the closest NCAA Championships in collegiate history.
Sam Woodward and Betsy Webb remain from the the NCAA title team in the 400 free relay in 2010 as the only returning national title winners. Both were sophomores. Stanford does have a few contenders. Last season, Maya DiRado, as a freshman, was a runner-up in the 200 IM and third in the 400 IM. Webb was also a NCAA runner-up in the 50 free as a sophomore and was fourth in the event last season. In 2010, Webb was an NCAA runner-up in the 200 free and 400 medley relays in 2010. Woodward was also an NCAA runner-up in the 200 free relay in 2010 and the 400 free relay as a freshman in 2009.
Sam Woodward and Betsy Webb are the most decorated Cardinal on the squad with Webb earning 14, top-16 finishes and Woodward being named an All-American 15 times.
In the Record Books
Betsy Webb is the reigning school-record holder in the 100 back (52.28) lowered at Pac-12s, while Maya DiRado as the second fastest time in the 200 back (1:52.02) and 400 IM (4:01.02) all-time. DiRado is also third in the 200 IM (1:54.66). Sam Woodward ranks fourth in the 100 fly (51.79) and joins Felicia Lee (52.63) in the top-10. Stanford’s top four sprinters are all ranked in the top-10 in both the Stanford record books in the 50 and 100 free. Webb’s time of 22.02 this season is third, while Woodward’s time is fifth (22.13). Murez has the top current time in the 100 free, all-time at 48.28 for fourth in the 100 free. Woodward is also a part of the record-setting 200, 400 and 800 free relay teams. Stanford set the school-record in the 200 medley relay at Pac-12s with Woodward, Webb, Lee and Katie Olsen.
Sophomore Stephanie Phipps earned a spot into her second-straight NCAA Championship after a fifth place showing in the 1-meter Zone Championship last week. Phipps competed in the 2011 affair, earning All-America honors in the 3-meter, where she was 16th.
Handicapping the Field
Relays-- Stanford features the nation’s leading times in both Thursday’s 200 free relay (1:28.07) and Saturday’s 400 free relay (3:12.34) with the quartet of senior Sam Woodward, freshman Maddy Schaefer, junior Andi Murez and senior Betsy Webb making up both teams. In the longer 800 free relay on Friday, Stanford has the third-fastest time (6:58.82) with Murez the only hold over and joining sophomores Andie Taylor, Maya DiRado and Sara Giberson. The Cardinal have the sixth-best 200 medley relay (1:36.90) for Friday’s finals with Woodward and Webb anchoring the fly and free, respectively, following Felicia Lee in the back and freshman Katie Olsen in the breaststroke. For Thursday’s 400 medley relay, the Cardinal are ranked tenth (3:33.70).
Freestyle Sprints-- Far and away Stanford’s best events, especially in the freestyle, the Cardinal have all four of its 200 and 400 free relayers ranked in the national top-25 in both the 50 free and 100 free. An NCAA runner-up as a sophomore in 2010, Betsy Webb has the nation’s sixth-best 50 free time (22.02). Webb also ranks No. 11 in the 100 free (48.38). Sam Woodward ranks No. 12 in the 50 free (22.13), finishing fourth in 2010 and as the consolation champion (ninth) in 2009 and 2011. Freshman Maddy Schaefer in her first championship ranks No. 17 in the shorter freestyle (22.28) and No. 12 in the longer one (48.50).
Longer Freestyles-- Andi Murez is the only Cardinal in the top-25, ranking No. 13 at 1:44.54. Part of relay teams her first two years, this is the first year she is expected to score individually. IN the 500 free, Andie Taylor ranks No. 19 (4:40.64). She was a part of the ninth place 800 free relay team as a freshman.
Backstroke -- Stanford features two swimmers ranked in the top-15 in the 100 back for Friday’s final, led by Betsy Webb’s time of 52.28 (No. 8) and Felicia Lee’s mark of 52.48 (No. 13). Webb, the 14-time All-American has finished 12th in each of the last two years. Maya DiRado, last year’s runner-up in the 200 back, ranks No. 2 at 1:52.57, three seconds behind Elizabeth Beisel (1:49.82) in what should be an interesting Saturday showdown.
Breast Stroke -- Stanford does not have a swimmer in the top-25 of either event with freshman Katie Olsen and senior Kerry Kraemer the top threats.
Butterfly -- Sam Woodward ranks No. 4 nationally in the 100 fly (51.79) as she and Felicia Lee (52.63) both rank in the top-25 in Friday’s event. Woodward is looking for her first A Final of the 100 fly.
Individual Medley -- In what should be a competitive race in the 200 IM, Maya DiRado ranks No. 3 at 1:54.66 against Pac-12 foes Caitlin Leverenz (1:52.43) and Katinka Hosszu (1:52.37). Add Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel to both events on Thursday and Friday and it should be an interesting event. DiRado ranks No. 5 (4:02.06) in the longer race, four seconds behind Beisel’s nation’s best time (3:58.35).