Stanford Travels to Ann Arbor To Face Michigan and Florida
Friday, Oct. 17, 2008 Canham Natatorium 3:00 p.m. PT
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Stanford To Face Pair of 2008 NCAA Top 10 Teams in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Following a pair of dual meet victories at the Avery Aquatic Center over San Jose State (170-102 on Oct. 3) and Oregon State (151-102 on Oct. 10), the Stanford women's swimming and diving team will face its first road test this Friday when it travels to Ann Arbor, Mich. for a double dual meet against the Florida Gators and host Michigan Wolverines.
All three teams were top ten finishers at the 2008 NCAA Championships, with Stanford placing third (343 points), Florida sixth (277.5) and Michigan ninth (130).
Back to the Wolverine State
Stanford's women will be swimming in Ann Arbor, Mich. for the first time since the Cardinal knocked off a top-ranked Michigan team 174-126 on Oct. 21, 1995. This will be the first time the Cardinal and Wolverines have faced off head-to-head since a Jan. 11, 1997 dual meet at Avery, which Stanford won 198-96.
Stanford head women's swimming coach Lea Maurer is in her fourth year at the helm of her alma mater, having presided over a Cardinal squad that has improved one spot at NCAA Championships in each of her first three campaigns (5th in 2006, 4th in 2007 and 3rd in 2008). Under her guidance, 17 Cardinal swimmers have combined for 73 All-America honors, while Stanford has won 13 individual Pac-10 championships and a pair of NCAA individual crowns.
Dual Meet Success
Following last week's victory over Oregon State, Stanford has won 19 of its last 20 dual meets (including victories over both Oregon State and San Jose State in a double dual meet that opened the 2006-07 campaign), with the only setback in that time a tightly-contested 156-144 loss on Nov. 9, 2007 at Georgia. In her three years on the Cardinal pool deck, head coach Lea Maurer has guided her teams to a 32-3 (.914) dual meet record.
Frequent Flier Miles
Stanford will travel both near and far during the 2008-09 season, beginning with this week's trip to Michigan. The Cardinal swimmers and divers will spend the entire month of November on the road, venturing to Irvine, Calif. for the Big West Shootout (Nov. 7-8 - both), College Station, Tex. for the Texas A&M Invite (Nov. 21-23 - divers only) and north of the border to Toronto, Canada for the Bell Invite (Nov. 28-30 - both).
All-Americans and Accolades Aplenty
The 2008-09 Stanford women's swimming and diving roster boasts a collective 58 All-America selections, four NCAA championships and 17 Pac-10 titles.
Welcome to The Farm
A quartet of Stanford freshmen have opened their collegiate careers with individual event victories over the first two dual meets. Sam Woodward has won a pair of individual events in consecutive competitions, including three freestyle distances (200 and 50 against San Jose State and the 100 against Oregon State) and the 200 butterfly (against Oregon State). Angela Duckworth won the 1,000 free against the Spartans and the 500 free against the Beavers, while Jessica Rodriquez turned in the fastest time in the 200 free against Oregon State. Mary Beth Corbett captured the 1-meter diving competition against San Jose State with an NCAA "B" score of 255.60.
Setting an Early Standard
Stanford has turned in several impressive performances over the first two weeks, highlighted by sophomore diver Meg Hostage earning a NCAA "A" standard score with a 292.43 in the 3-meter diving competition against San Jose State.
Junior Julia Smit posted a NCAA "B" standard time of 1:57.00 in the 200 backstroke this past Friday against Oregon State, while sophomore Liz Smith swam the 200 breaststroke in a "B" time of 2:15.46.
Back for More
The starting blocks and diving boards of the Avery Aquatic Center will be loaded with experience this season, as Stanford returns nine of its 11 swimmers that competed in the 2008 NCAA Championships and all three divers.
In the pool, the Cardinal welcomes back the following group that led Stanford to a third-place finish in March: junior Elaine Breeden, senior Caroline Bruce, sophomore Kate Dwelley, sophomore Kerry Kraemer, senior Fiona O'Donnell-McCarthy, Julia Smit, Liz Smith, junior Whitney Spence and senior Laura Wadden.
Meg Hostage, junior Shana Karp and senior Sarah Ohr all return after advancing to the NCAA Diving Championships in 2008.
Stanford continued its storied championship tradition in 2007-08, winning one individual NCAA title and four Pac-10 crowns.
Julia Smit capped off an incredible sophomore season by winning her first NCAA championship when she finished first in the 400 yard individual medley.
A quartet of Cardinal swimmers and divers won individual titles as Stanford finished second at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships. Elaine Breeden took home her second consecutive crown in the 200 yard butterfly, while Kate Dwelley served notice by winning the 200 yard freestyle as a freshman. Meg Hostage was the Pac-10 champ on the 3-meter as a freshman, while Sarah Ohr won her first title in the 1-meter.
Big Four Becomes the...Super Six?
Although Stanford must compensate for the graduation of 17-time All-American Brooke Bishop, the remainder of last year's "Big Four" returns in Elaine Breeden (12-time All-American), Caroline Bruce (13-time AA) and Julia Smit (12-time AA).
The Cardinal appears to have many talented swimmers ready to fill Bishop's void, including a trio of freshman All-Americans from 2007-08: Kate Dwelley (four All-America honors) Kerry Kraemer (one) and Liz Smith (three).
Seniors Andrea Axtell, Fiona O'Donnell-McCarthy, Madeline Rovira and Laura Wadden, along with junior Whitney Spence, also all boast All-American honors during their careers on the Farm.
Best of the Best
The Stanford program has one of the most storied traditions in all of collegiate women's swimming. Cardinal fans should be in for a treat in 2008-09, as nine members of this year's team have already etched their names among the program's all-time top ten times.
This prestigious list includes: senior Andra Axtell (200 Back - 8th, 1:56.80), junior Elaine Breeden (100 fly - 2nd, 51.44; 200 fly - 1st, 1:52.27; 200 IM - 4th, 1:56.30), senior Caroline Bruce (100 breast - 2nd, 59.55; 200 breast - 2nd, 2:08.67; 200 IM - 8th, 1:57.66; 400 IM - 6th, 4:10.31), sophomore Kate Dwelley (50 free - 8th, 22.70 relay; 100 free - t-2nd, 48.38 relay; 200 free - 3rd, 1:45.07; 500 free - 5th, 4:41.67; 100 fly - 10th, 53.66; 5th - 1:57.27), senior Fiona O'Donnell-McCarthy (100 back - 9th, 53.89), sophomore Kerry Kraemer (100 breast - 5th, 1:01.32; 200 breast - 9th; 2:12.50), junior Julia Smit (50 free - 4th, 22.39 relay; 100 free - 10th, 49.35 relay; 200 free - 2nd 1:44.52, relay; 500 free - 6th; 4:41.74; 100 back - 6th, 53.77; 200 back - 2nd, 1:53.39; 200 IM - 1st, 1:55.31; 400 IM - 4th, 4:02.41), sophomore Liz Smith (100 breast - 3rd, 1:00.32; 200 breast - 3rd, 2:08.73; 200 IM - 6th, 1:57.45; 400 IM - 4th, 4:09.70) and senior Laura Wadden (200 fly - 10th, 1:58.23).
Current Cardinal swimmers have also swam on three Stanford record-holding relay teams: Smit, Breeden, O'Donnell-McCarthy in the 200 free relay (1:29.40); Dwelley, Smith and Breeden in the 400 free relay (3:13.77); and O'Donnell-McCarthy, Smith and Breeden in the 200 medley relay (1:37.57).
Making a Splash
Long an integral part of Stanford's championship teams, the Cardinal divers are once again among the elite. Meg Hostage became the first Stanford freshman ever to be named the Pac-10's Diver of the Year when she captured the 2008 honor. Senior Sarah Ohr is the Pac-10's reigning 1-meter champion and an All-American in the platform, while junior Shana Karp garnered All-America accolades after finishing fifth in the platform competition at NCAA Championships.
Stanford's divers are led by six-time Pac-10 Diving Coach of the Year Dr. Rick Schavone, who has been named the conference's top diving tutor each of the last two seasons.
Smit and Breeden Shine in Beijing
Julia Smit and Elaine Breeden continued Stanford's tradition of Olympic excellence when they each medaled for the United States in the 2008 Beijing Games.
The only current collegiate swimmer to have earned a pair of medals at the 2008 Olympics, Smit helped the U.S. team to the podium with her preliminary efforts in the two freestyle relay events - 4x100 (silver) and 4x200 meters (bronze). Smit helped the U.S. to the third seed in the 4 x 100 relay and swam the anchor leg of the 4 x 200 relay as the Americans posted a heat-winning time of 7:52.43.
Breeden swam a trio of events in her first Olympics, and earned a silver medal after helping the Americans to a heat-winning time in the 4 x 100 meter medley relay preliminaries. The medal further cemented Breeden's place among America's top butterfly talents, as she was the top U.S. finisher in the 200 meter fly with a time of 2:07.57.
Caroline Bruce, who competed in the 2004 Athens Games, gives Stanford a trio of former United States Olympians.